Red Cross honors Prospect woman

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Ruby De Costa, 97, of Prospect was honored by the American Red Cross and Fenwal Inc. Nov. 6 in Farmington for her years of volunteering at blood drives in Prospect. From left, American Red Cross Connecticut Blood Services Region Chief Executive Officer Paul Sullivan, De Costa, American Red Cross Donor Recruitment Manager Joyce Ramsey, and Fenwal Inc. Account Executive Shaun Debold. –CONTRIBUTED

FARMINGTON — The American Red Cross and Fenwal Inc. recently honored Ruby De Costa for her years of dedication to community blood drives in Prospect.

Since 1973, De Costa, 97, of Prospect, has volunteered at community blood drives in the town and has been such a staple at the drives that they’ve become known as “Ruby’s Drive,” according to a press release issued by the Red Cross.

The release said De Costa would personally call every donor to remind them of their appointment, or that they are eligible to return to donate, and until recently supplied all the blood drives with sandwiches and cakes.  In 2007, at the age of 92, Ruby decided to retire from full-time service at the blood drives, the release stated.

The Red Cross credited De Costa with bringing in 25,000 blood donations in Prospect, which equates to saving the lives of approximately 75,000, the release stated.

For her years of volunteering, the Red Cross and Fenwal Inc. honored De Costa at the Red Cross’ Farmington office Nov. 6 dedicating a Wall of Distinction in her name for extraordinary blood services volunteers and inducting her into the Fenwal Donation Hall of Fame. The hall of fame was established to recognize individuals nationwide who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to blood donation.

“We are here to honor you Ruby, and to thank you for your support of American Red Cross blood drives in Prospect for the last three decades,” stated Paul Sullivan, chief executive officer, American Red Cross-Connecticut Blood Services Region. “Your tireless dedication and commitment has helped us in our lifesaving mission to ensure blood is available when it is needed for Connecticut patients.”

Shaun Debold, Fenwal Inc. account executive, presented De Costa with a trophy at the ceremony.

“Fenwal is honored to join the American Red Cross in recognizing Ruby for selflessly helping to supply blood that has helped save and improve thousands of lives,” stated Debold “Ruby’s passion and commitment is an inspiration to us all.”

While the evening was about recognizing, De Costa thanked the Red Cross for the work the organization does.

“I am proud of the American Red Cross and all of you,” De Costa said, according to the release. “Thank you for the wonderful work you do.”