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Thicker than water: Ridge blood drive inspired by restaurateur’s family

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This blood drive was not in vain.

Nearly 70 heros offered their veins and donated blood during a drive in front of Greenhouse Cafe on Sept. 17. The eatery started hosting donations regularly in 2009, and since then Greenhouse has helped collect enough blood to save thousands of lives, the Ridge restaurant’s owner said.

“We’ve collected probably about 1,200 units — that turns into the possibility of saving 3,600 lives,” said owner Bobby Daquara. “That’s a lot of people.”

Daquara’s daughter Haley inspired him hold the blood drives, which Greenhouse hosts between four and six times a year. The youngster, who passed away two years ago, was born with a disease that required frequent bone marrow transplants, and seeing others’ donations help his child drove home the need for more blood drives, Daquara said.

“After her diagnosis, and once we got her medical condition under control, we realized that was the time to start giving back,” he said.

Donating blood is a no-brainer, one life-saving local said.

“I’m retired, got nothing to do, so what the heck,” said Dyker Heights resident Frank Puliafico. “I felt like I was doing something good.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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