Daniel Stein and Irving Younger are being remembered for their combined passion. The two friends regularly attended blood drives at PNC Park where free tickets to Pittsburgh Pirates games were distributed. Their last trip downtown to donate blood at a Pirates drive occurred on Aug. 27, 2018, exactly two months before Stein and Younger were killed during the Tree of Life attack.
To honor them and their commitment to blood donations at PNC Park, the Pirates are dedicating five blood drives in memory of Stein and Younger. The drives will be held June 3, 10, 24 and Aug. 12 and 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We felt it was fitting to dedicate these blood drives to Daniel and Irv because they were such loyal Pirates fans and committed blood donors,” said Frank Coonelly, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates in a statement. “We hope that others will be inspired by their legacy.”
Prior to the June 19 Pirates game, the Stein and Younger families will be invited onto the field for a special tribute. In statements released by Vitalint, a community blood service provider, Stein’s loved ones recalled his singular commitment to the cause.
“Danny was very faithful about consistently donating blood. He and Irv looked forward to the blood drives,” said Sharyn Stein, Dan’s wife.
“My Dad was a quiet man but not when it came to recruiting friends and family members to participate in fundraisers or to give back to the community,” echoed Leigh Stein, Dan’s daughter. “Whenever he had the opportunity to do a good deed, a mitzvah, he was the first to raise his hand.”
Such commitment is needed now, according to Vitalint. The community blood supply is “at an all-time low,” noted the nonprofit in a statement. “The number of donors in western Pennsylvania has shrunk by more than half over the past 10 years.”
Along with a decrease in donations has been an increase in costs for importing needed blood. In 2017, hospitals from the Allegheny Health Network and UPMC Health System required nearly 160,000 pints of blood to treat patients. Only 74,000 pints of blood were provided by area donors, less than half the amount required.
Participating donors at the upcoming drives will receive a voucher for two free Pirates tickets and a gift from the Pirates. Additionally, during the drives, free parking is available in Red Lot #6 on W. General Robinson Street, across from the blood drive entrance. To make an appointment visit vitalant.org/pirates, call 412-209-7164, or download the Vitalant-Pittsburgh app on a smartphone. PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.