At Collins Arena, Brookdale

Lincroft, NJ - Brookdale Community College will host a special blood drive in memory of Ava Pellicane who passed away at the age of three months. Donations can be made on Wednesday, December 5 from 12:00 noon - 7:00 p.m. in the Collins Arena at the Lincroft main campus, 765 Newman Springs Road.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the need for blood is especially critical. This is the fourth year the Ava Pellicone Memorial Blood Drive will be held at Brookdale with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee sponsoring the Drive. In the words of Gail Pellicone, the impetus for the continuing effort comes from the heart;

"During my 24th week of pregnancy with twins, I was hospitalized and placed on bed rest due to recurrent bleeding.  At 26 weeks, I began hemorrhaging and was rushed into surgery where an emergency C-section was performed to save my life and the twins.  Our daughters, Ava and Mia, were born weighing one pound, 15 ounces each and were in critical condition.  My bleeding was so severe after the C-section that a second surgery was needed to stop it.  I lost a total of one liter of blood-the equivalent of two average-sized water bottles.  Many family members and friends were willing to donate blood, but because this was an emergency situation, there was not enough time to donate to help me.

"During the three months that Ava and Mia were in the hospital, they required numerous blood transfusions.  We are thrilled to tell you that Mia is a happy and energetic seven-year-old who loves to dance and play dress-up.  Despite everyone's best efforts, Ava passed away at three months old due to intestinal failure.

"Someone, somewhere took time out of their day to donate blood and, in doing so, they saved my life, Mia's life and gave us the precious gift of time with Ava.  We can never personally thank the donors that saved us, but we can give back in our own way by hosting a blood drive.
"If you cannot donate blood, but want to help in some way, here are some suggestions:

"Donate time.  Donate one hour at the blood drive to help donors register or to offer refreshments to donors.

"Donate money.  The Ava Pellicone Memorial Nursing Scholarship has been established at Brookdale Community College.  Ava weighed just 1 pound, 15 ounces when she was born, which is about the weight of 7 rolls of dimes.  Donating $35 - the equivalent of 7 rolls of dimes - is a meaningful gift.  However, any amount is greatly appreciated.  All checks can be made out to "Brookdale Foundation" with "Ava Pellicone Scholarship" noted in the memo line.  Checks can be mailed to Brookdale Foundation, Brookdale Community College, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738.

"Donate food and household goods.  If you are unable to donate blood, but would like to help in some way, please drop off the following items at the blood drive to help members of our community recently affected by Hurricane Sandy: laundry detergent, tin foil, salad dressing, BBQ sauce, non-perishable food items and pet food.  All items will be donated to Clean Ocean Action and go directly to residents of Sea Bright and their pets.

To schedule an appointment to donate, please call Shannon Ventre at 732-224-2379 or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.<mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> with the subject line: "Blood Donor Appointment."