The held their annual blood drive Saturday in memory of fallen Suffolk County Police Officer Glen Ciano, who was in Commack in 2009.
Ciano, who worked in the second precinct, served twenty-two years at the Suffolk County Police Department and was often a regular at the firehouse. “His locker is in the firehouse so he spent time here during shift changes and lunch breaks,” said Commack Volunteer Firefighter Robert Weisberg. Weisberg and Officer Dave Pendola organized the event, which was then given a final approval from Ciano’s wife of twenty-four years, Sue Ciano.
“I think it is truly amazing how everyone just dropped what they were doing to come here and help their community,” said Sue.
Originally set to take place on a Tuesday night, the event was moved to a Saturday in order to accommodate the large response of volunteers.
Community service is something that was close to Officer Ciano's heart. Sue recalled the days where she and her husband would take their two children out on Earth Day to pick up trash on the road sides and in parking lots. Ciano also grew up as a boy scout, and later served as a pack leader. “I remember a time where we had to pick up the boys from a state park campout due to poor weather conditions. Glen and I stopped what we were doing and drove all the way to Pennsylvania together, it was coordinated fun,” Sue said.
The blood drive served as a reminder of the special relationship Ciano had with his community. “This is a tribute to him and how he was,” said Sue. “So many are willing to donate in his name because he helped so many people. His friendliness allowed him to become well known and respected.”
After having just come out of emergency appeal, The Long Island Blood Services, which serves over two-hundred hospitals from Queens to Montauk, benefited tremendously from the event. Joan Liang, who was in charge of the drive, was thrilled with the outpouring of support from the community.
“We had to play catch-up with our blood supply after units were canceled due to poor weather conditions, but as a result of the event’s super turn-out, we were able to exceed our goal of thirty pints with a total of over sixty, and we’re still going,” she exclaimed.
“This was the first year the blood drive was held in memory of my husband and I think it was a huge success,” said Sue. “I am even learning things about my husband through those he worked with that I never knew before. I didn’t know that he would always arrive early to the firehouse to put on a pot of coffee for everyone to share. He was a very good man and as a wife, I was very lucky.”
In addition to the blood drive, the family have also been involved over the past two years with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, where they participate in walks and fundraisers to educate others about the consequences of driving drunk.