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Community Blood Drive to Honor Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Player Greg Reynolds and In Memory of Sgt. Evan Guardi

By Cindy McNicholl

Event Details

Date(s) & Time(s)::

June 29, 2013 at 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM

Location: Willowvale Fire Company - 3459 Oneida Street - Chadwicks, NY

Link: http://www.redcross.org

Event Description

A year ago two girls who had never met, were donating blood for two American HEROES.

Cheryl Jassak had never donated blood before but had met Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team player Greg Reynolds from Massachusetts and he was celebrating his 4 year alive date (June 22). Greg Reynolds the Co-founder and President started Makin’ Lemonade, which was established to inspire and promote a positive and active lifestyle when life has handed you lemons. It's YOUR choice. After serving a 15-month tour in Iraq, Reynolds was involved in a life threatening motorcycle accident back in the United States on June 22, 2008 that left him in a coma for six weeks. During that time, Reynolds received a number of operations and 101 units of blood. His left arm was also amputated at the shoulder. “LIFE is unpredictable. The best made plans and goals can often be shockingly INTERRUPTED. You can be on top of the world and everything can change in a matter of SECONDS. It is how you handle the challenges that define who you are. After shedding the tears and ACCEPTING the changes, keep your sense of humor, and when life hands you lemons, start Makin' Lemonade!” Cheryl was inspired by Greg and wanted to PAY IT FORWARD and so she signed up for a blood drive last June and to her surprise was able to donate DOUBLE RED! As much as she was nervous she knew she was helping save not just one life but two lives. All she could think about was Greg and what he had been through and it drove her to want to continue to donate blood and do more for the veterans, active service men and women, and remember our fallen men and women.

Katy Guardi was also donating blood that day. Katy was giving in memory of her brother Evan Guardi. Sgt. Evan L Guardi of Clayville, NY graduated from Sauquoit Valley High school in 2001. Evan was a fun and loving young man that put a smile on everyone’s face. In high school he was an outstanding athlete and was named MVP for both football and track his senior year. Evan loved hiking, biking, and anything outdoors. Evan, his friends and his family shared a lot of good memories around fires, at the beach, or just hanging out. Evan loved spending time with his parents John and Sue Guardi, his brother Max, and his two sisters Sarit and Katy. He is greatly loved and missed by many.

Sgt. Guardi joined the United States Army in 2003 and was proud to become an American Soldier. In September of 2005 he was sent to New Orleans to aid in the Hurricane Katrina relief. Evan was deployed to Iraq from April 2006- May 2007. Evan was a part of the 21st Combat Support Hospital, 3rd Medical Command during Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation. Evan came home in May after leaving the army and was killed in a snowmobile accident in December of 2007.

His family worked together with the American Red Cross for the first few years after his death putting on blood drives at the Willowvale Fire Department. During these years they were able to give over 101 units of blood and had numerous first time donors that donated in Evan’s memory. We are proud and honored to use his memory to increase and encourage blood donations in our area.

Cheryl and Katy started talking about the reasons why they were donating blood that day. Now the two have joined together to host a blood drive in Honor of Greg Reynolds and in Memory of Evan Guardi on Saturday, June 29, 2013 at the Willowvale Fire Company in Chadwicks, NY from 10am – 3pm, their goal - 101 units of blood!! Everyone is encouraged to register online, http://www.redcross.org/ and enter the sponsor code WWAST.

Cheryl Jassak and Katy Guardi will together donate Double Red at 11am as they honor Greg and remember Evan! These two girls are now the best of friends and continue to help the military. Cheryl Jassak works for the Sitrin Health Care Center and is in charge of the Stars and Stripes Run~Walk to Support our Nations Heroes (October 5, 2013 – SUNYIT) and Katy, along with her family and friends formed a team and walk/run in memory of Evan. Last year Team Evan was the top fundraising team raising over $5,000 for Sitrin’s Military Rehabilitation Program.

There will also be a Chicken BBQ that day to raise money for Team Evan. Dinners are $10.00 which includes half chicken, salt potatoes, cole slaw and a role. Donate blood that day and dinners are $9.00

Help us PAY IT FORWARD!!!

For more information please feel free to contact Cheryl Jassak at 315-404-5159 or Katy Guardi at 315-723-6903
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