ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — The Abilene Police Department (APD) came out on top in the 10th Annual Guns & Hoses Rodney Holder Memorial Blood Drive competition, which saw a record number of donations.
APD reclaimed its title over the Abilene Fire Department (AFD) by a final tally of 178-175 after the competition ended Thursday evening at 7.
Before the fire department won last year, APD had claimed victory in the contest the previous two years.
The blood drive is a memorial for fallen Abilene Police Officer Rodney Holder, that was killed in the line of duty in 2010.
For first-time donors, giving a pint of blood can be a daunting task, but Brenda Ives was readily prepared.
“I gave birth to four kids naturally,” Ives said. “So, nothing scares me. No.”
She was in good hands with her daughter, Caitlin Berry, who has donated four times before.
They took part in the 10th Annual Guns & Hoses Blood Drive in memory of Rodney Holder, who lost his life in the line of duty.
Berry said this is a special event because Rodney’s wife, Annemarie, taught her in fourth grade, as well.
While Brenda Ives wasn’t worried about donating blood for the first time, a few other first timers were.
Rylee Davidson has always wanted to donate blood, but never got the chance to when she was working her school’s blood drives.
After receiving a COVID-19 vaccination shot Thursday morning, she decided to get up and donate blood the same day.
She said it also allowed for some friendly competition with her friend, Kassidy Payne, where the loser has to buy the winner’s coffee.
Out of all the first-time donors, though, it may have meant the most to Jeff Bell, who worked alongside Rodney Holder.
Following in his daughter’s footsteps, Bell came and donated blood for the very first time today, knowing that it would make Rodney proud.
“I guarantee you he is up there, looking down,” Bell said. “Honored by not only the ‘Gun’ side, but also the ‘Hose’ side and the community outreach.”