ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida community teamed up with OneBlood Wednesday for a blood drive to honor the lives lost in the 2016 mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The blood drive was organized as the school marks six years since 49 people were killed in the shooting that also took the lives of UCF student Juan Ramon Guerrero and two-time alumnus Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen.
UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger was the first to donate in the blood drive that took place outside the UCF Student Union from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“It’s important for everyone in our community to come out and donate because they’ll be saving someone with that donation,” Metzger said. “We do that to honor those in our community who lost their lives and it was a terrible tragedy.”
Donating blood has become a tradition for many who gave the gift of life in the hours and days after June 12, 2016.
“It demonstrated that our community came together like no other time and we’ve been able to hold onto that for the last six years,” Metzger said.
UCF is also keeping multiple buildings lit in rainbow colors through Sunday, which is the official six-year mark since the attack.
“Our community has been Orlando Strong. We came together. We honored the victims from Pulse and we’ve continued to honor their memory each and every year,” Metzger said.
For details on how to donate blood, visit the OneBlood website.