Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Donates 100 Gallons in 50 Years of 'Greedy' Giving; He Still Goes Every Two Weeks to Donate Platelets

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Man Donates 100 Gallons in 50 Years of 'Greedy' Giving; He Still Goes Every Two Weeks to Donate Platelets

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

Bill Conroy jokes that "greed" is why he has donated blood since his days in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1961.

It isn't for financial gain, he said as he signed in for the donation that completed his 100th gallon Monday at The Blood Alliance's Orange Park center on Kingsley Avenue.

According to the Bible, if you give to charity, you receive tenfold in return, a saying he said his life has proven.

"It definitely has," said Conroy, 66. "I am blessed with a wonderful family and good friends. I am eating on a regular basis and what more do you need? I am still hoping to win the Lotto."

Conroy is the first Blood Alliance client to hit the 100-gallon mark in its 69-year history, said Chief Operating Officer Valerie Collins. That's 800 donations here and back in Brooklyn, "greed" they can live with.

"There's not many around the country," Collins said. "The bar has been set, because he donates with a lot of his buddies and I am sure they will all be pushing for the same milestone. It's great. We depend on it."

Conroy is a Flatbush native who went with some Army comrades to donate whole blood 50 years ago, then went back to their Knights of Columbus hall for a beer. When the Grand Knight found out, he made an offer they couldn't refuse.

"He turned to the bartender and said, 'Joe, they drink free today,' " Conroy said. " ... He says if you go every week and donate every week, You will be welcome to come back and drink beer until Joe cuts you off."

Moving to Florida in 1988, where he is now a self-employed house painter in Orange Park, Conroy was able to carry over most of his prior donations to The Blood Alliance.

Now it's 90 minutes every two weeks to donate platelets, no thought that he was closing in on 100 gallons.

He said he once told a friend who said the needle hurts that it does, "but God forbid one of your kids need blood. …

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