Blood Drive to Honor Former Teacher

A Millard school teacher and athletic trainer who was killed in a tragic accident last spring will be honored in a special way on Sunday.

There will a blood drive during the Omaha FC Soccer Invitational Tournament at Tranquility Park soccer complex.

For years, Jim Johnston helped collect thousands of pints of blood for the American Red Cross. Jim is gone now but his friends plan to carry on his tradition.

A lot of people remember Johnston and what he meant to this community. For more than 25 years he worked to help the American Red Cross collect blood.

Now, three of his friends want to honor his memory with a blood drive during the soccer tournament.

Tournament Director Suzanne Gornell said, “Jim Johnston gave so much to the community, to Millard West, as a trainer and he organized blood drives up at Millard West and we just thought this was a great way to honor him was to have a memorial blood drive where he would normally be a trainer for us there.”

Jim won’t be there because a motorist hit and killed him while he was riding his bike last spring but his friends believe he would like the idea of helping to save lives by coordinating a blood drive.

Millard West Soccer Coach Jacque Tevis-Butler said, “I think he'd be really honored. He’d be humbled by it. I don’t think he thought he was kind of a big deal. He was a guy who liked his job, did what he was supposed to do. I think he'd be really honored by that idea.”

Katie Cordery, with the Omaha Physical Therapy Institute, said, “His absense is definitely felt. We've had a couple of tournaments without him since the accident in March and it’s been very difficult to go to our medical tent and not see him in there.”

This group hopes that many people will honor the memory of Jim Johnston by showing up to the tournament and donating blood.

That blood drive is Sunday, August 31st from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Tranquility Park soccer complex near 120th and West Maple Road.

You can set up an appointment on line. Click here and use the sponsor code 0092942.


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