On Friday, May 13, 2016, New York Blood Center hosted its annual recognition event honoring the City of New York Employee Blood Program on behalf of Mayor DiBlasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, both avid supporters of the New York City Employee Blood Program. The honorary breakfast was NYBC’s largest Employee Blood Program recognition event yet, surpassing attendance numbers of the previous years, with 170 present.

The City of New York has been a partner of NYBC since its inception 50 years ago and is the largest single donor group, having contributed more than 40,000 pints of blood in 2015 alone. City employees — selfless participants from probation, health and mental hygiene, transit, and other essential agencies — make up the largest donor group in the metropolitan region. As demonstrated by achievements in 2015, organizers continue to set the bar higher every year, reaching out increasingly to the private sector to tap a new set of partners.

Year-round demand for blood supply is heightened in the summer and winter months, a time in which NYBC faces widespread, seasonal shortages. This year, the organization has been striving to increase blood donations through this crucial partnership, aiming to double red cell donations overall and to harness greater participation during critical periods. The annual breakfast reinforces NYBC’s gratitude to all the agencies and their commissioners, showcasing the dedication the parties have to furthering this life-saving cause. Transplant survivors Jared and his wife Evelyn shared, through personal experience, the importance of chairpersons and participants in helping NYBC fulfill its ambitious mission every year.

NYBC Commissioner Lisette Camilo thanked her fellow commissioner's, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton and CUNY Vice Chancellor Frank Sanchez, who represent NYBC’s Volunteer Leadership Campaign, were thanked for their combined efforts. Borough Presidents Eric Adams, Gale Brewer, Melinda Katz and Ruben Diaz Jr., were also credited with the success of this partnership in 2015. 

Three organizations that most excelled under six particular criteria in 2015 were distinguished among the crowd and honored by NYBC Commissioner Lisette Camilo and Vice President of Customer Service Robert Purvis during the awards presentation. Representatives from the leading 10 organizations in each category were also invited to attend. Honorary categories included: most total donations, largest increase in donations over the prior year, largest increase in donations over the prior year (in percentage), highest average per drive, highest pints per 100 employees and most Alyx donations (double red cell donations).

In an emotional culmination, the NYPD was given the prestigious Commissioner’s Cup award, commending the outstanding contributions of its commissioners. “The energy and work it takes to mobilize this degree of participation is no small feat,” said Robert Purvis. “We take insurmountable pride in each individual backing the initiative. This event is just a small token of our gratitude and an annual reminder that we never take these efforts for granted.”