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Tonawanda blood drive will benefit Jed Woomer scholarship

The City of Tonawanda continues to "Go Red for Jed" with a blood drive that will honor a special young man who died from cancer complications in 2015.

Jedediah Woomer, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout and 2014 graduate of Tonawanda High School, died on April 8, 2015 following complications from synovial sarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer.

Tonawanda city firefighters will host a blood drive and fundraiser for Jed's Open Heart Memorial Scholarship from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Tonawanda Fire Hall, 44 William St.

The City of Tonawanda Fire Department hosts blood drives every other month with the Red Cross. This is the second time they have hosted a blood drive and scholarship fundraiser in honor of Woomer.

For eight months before his death in 2015, the city rallied for the star high school swimmer in a "Red for Jed" campaign, with red lights in the windows and red ribbons on the trees. The blood drive and scholarship continues the theme in his honor.

Fire Chaplain Rick Oates called Woomer a hero who went out of his way to help other students, specifically saving a young woman's life who said she had been on the brink of suicide. He also was concerned about the homeless he saw in his community, specifically near Roswell Park Hospital, where he was being treated, and arranged to have sandwiches and blankets brought to them, said Oates.

"This is an ordinary kid who did some extraordinary things," said Oates. "The scholarship recognizes a graduating senior  who demonstrates the attributes of kindness and courage and helping people. That's what this young man did. Those are values worth esteeming in our culture."

Tonawanda Fire Chief Charles Stuart said there will be red lights shining in the fire hall to honor Woomer and a basket auction.

Those who don't want to give blood are still invited to attend the fundraiser, Stuart said. Food will be provided by Smoke on the Water Restaurant.

Scholarship donations may be made payable to Carolyn Woomer, Jed's mom, in advance of the event at the fire hall. Blood donors can also arrange appointments to give blood at or 800-733-2767. Walk-ins are welcome.


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