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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:01:06 08:50:29

Friends and family involved in the blood drive are, from left, front row: Madyson Owens, Mason Owens and David Jenkins. Standing: Darryl Digwood, Al Vanchieri, Brady Evans and John T. Evans. PHOTO SHANNON C. KEITH

Volunteering was a way of life for Dennis Owens Jr.

The Taylor resident was a proud husband, father and dedicated firefighter in the borough.

When Owens lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, his passing was felt throughout the community. Members of the Taylor Borough Recreation Committee set out to find a way to honor his previous voluntary commitment and dedication to the borough by organizing a blood drive in his honor.

“He needed four transfusions when he first went into the hospital and that’s why I felt it was important to support this,” said Kim Owens, his wife. “Donating blood is an incredibly important thing to do.”

“We felt as though this would be a great event to show our love and respect for our former volunteer captain of Taylor Fire and Rescue, his family and all other local volunteers for all the sacrifices they have made throughout the years to ensure all of our safety and to display just how tight knit our community truly is and always will be,” said Darrell Digwood, program director at the community center.

“Dennis was an outstanding guy who would do anything for you,” Digwood added. “He would give you the shirt off of his back.”

The event, scheduled for 1-6 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, will also serve as an open house for the Taylor Community Center, located at 700 S. Main St.

According to Digwood, the blood drive and open house will be a great opportunity for people in the community to gather together, meet their neighbors and share memories of Dennis. Additionally, those that stop by during the open house will be able to learn about the various programs available at the community center, such as recreational and social activities for Taylor Borough residents with a valid membership.

Those interested in donating blood are encouraged to call 780-3904 or 562-1917 to schedule an appointment for the blood drive.