A flag-raising and proclamation ceremony was held in honor of Julia Bunce by family, friends, members of the community and American Red Cross staff and volunteers at the Herkimer County Office Building Wednesday morning.
The daughter of Teresa and David Bunce, Julia Bunce lost her fight against leukemia at the age of 20 on Feb. 1.
Bunce and her family helped sponsor the Communities That Care blood drive for three years. Bunce had acute lymphocitc leukemia and was receiving two pints of blood per day. While undergoing treatment she led a team of volunteers to encourage people to donate blood on behalf of cancer patients coping with check-ups, chemotherapy and other treatments.
“Because of the Bunce family’s commitment to promoting blood drives and ensuring adequate supply is on hand for cancer patients like Julia they were selected to raise the American Red Cross flag. By doing so they also help the American Red Cross recognize the nation’s everyday heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community,” said American Red Cross of the Mohawk Valley Community Chapter Executive Jennifer Balog.
“Without the Bunces’ help our community blood drive would not have been a success,” said Diane O-Donnell, family friend and Herkimer County region American Red Cross account manager. “Julia’s advocacy and being brave through her illness helped to raise awareness of donating blood and now the community understands the importance of donating in a personal way.”
The month of March is known nationwide as the official month of the American Red Cross as a way to acknowledge the help the organization has received and provided for more than 130 years.
“As a way for the community to personally thank Bunce for all that she has done March is now proclaimed as American Red Cross Month in Herkimer County in honor of Julia Bunce,” said Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono.
“I want to thank our friends for giving us the strength to carry on through a very difficult time. The community has been with us side by side every step of the way and we will continue to support the Red Cross in honor of our daughter, Julia,” said Teresa Bunce.