Blood drive May 26 to honor local philanthropist

Rich Hoenck

Lifelong Gilroy resident Richard “Rich” Hoenck has given back to the community throughout his life, and now he wants to contribute in another way: With a blood drive Saturday, May 26.

Last year, Hoenck was diagnosed with several life-threatening medical conditions, and blood transfusions have been imperative for maintaining his health.

“You’d never know he’s sick by looking at him. He’s driving to Costco for a hot dog every day, catching up with people he knows,” said Hoenck’s daughter Linda Figone.

The American Red Cross blood drive is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gilroy High School library, located at 750 W. 10th St. Hoenck’s granddaughters, 14-year-old Adrianna and 13-year-old Julianna Figone, are sponsoring the blood drive with the Fairview 4-H Club – an organization Hoenck was involved with for many years. The blood drive will also celebrate Hoenck’s 75th birthday, which occurs a few days later.

“I took a whole bunch of blood in the last year, some 30 pints, and I want to re-pay it,” Hoenck said.

Though he cannot replace the blood he needed by himself, Hoenck wants to make sure that blood is available for others who will need it.

“Most of my friends can’t give blood; they’re taking too many medications. We gotta find new blood,” he said.

Hoenck made his living as a truck driver for Trevis Berry Transportation and then as the owner of his own trucking company, R.H. Hoenck Trucking. He has delivered Gilroy produce throughout the country for more than 50 years.

By looking at his log books, he says he has driven almost 1 million miles – the equivalent of 40 times around the world.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, Hoenck also hauled general freight, cardboard and equipment, just to name a few.

If you weren’t growing produce or didn’t participate in the 4-H or FFA, you may know Hoenck from his stints driving the Gilroy Gardens train up until last July when he became ill. Or you may have met him in his garage which has been turned into a polling place the last 10 years.

The blood drive in honor of Hoenck is open to the public. Donors are encouraged to sign-up in advance. Call Linda Figone at (831) 801-9393 or visit redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code: Fairview4-H) to schedule an appointment.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

 

The blood drive in honor of Hoenck is open to the public. Donors are encouraged to sign-up in advance. Call Linda Figone at (831) 801-9393 or visit redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code: Fairview4-H) to schedule an appointment.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

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