Harley Owners Group organizes blood drive to help police officer's daughter
April 25, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated April 25, 2013 at 11:26 p.m.
When Victoria Police Officer David Brogger noticed a flier advertising the 16th annual "Live to Ride, Ride to Give Blood" event while driving Thursday, he decided to visit his old stomping grounds - the Victoria Harley-Davidson.
The business' co-owner, Dawn Euton, hoped Brogger would stop by. She had been bouncing around an idea in her head. She had decided she wanted the blood units to benefit Brogger's daughter.
"He is so tenderhearted," Euton said. "She (his daughter) is a precious girl."
Brogger's 8-year-old daughter, Eve, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in March. She is undergoing chemotherapy, and her family shuttles her to and from hospitals in Houston.
She has two more chemotherapy sessions, each lasting six consecutive days.
Eve hasn't had any blood transfusions yet, but she might need them later.
"It's very humbling," Brogger said about Euton's suggestion, recalling a time when he would volunteer at the event.
That was back when he hawked motorcycles at the South Moody Street store in 2004 while completing the police academy.
The hard times have brought the Broggers closer.
"The cancer itself is a bad, bad thing, but everything surrounding the cancer, my job, (Ann's) my wife's job, friends and family, all the support has been nothing short of phenomenal," said Brogger, a traffic safety officer.
Brogger described Eve as a smart second-grader at Our Lady of Victory School. She recently celebrated her birthday and enjoys playing with her little sister, Lila.
"She's been a trooper through this whole thing. She's undergone a whole lot more than most adults do," Brogger said. "She is my hero."
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center will collect the blood. The Harley Owners Group, which boasts some 40 members, started the philanthropic event after their friend and fellow rider Tony Borowicz passed away in 1997. He was afflicted with kidney problems, said Monica C. Mendez, the South Texas Blood and Tissue communication specialist.
Last year, the blood center collected 196 units of blood at the Victoria location.
"We're looking to hopefully meet that same goal again this year," Mendez said.
Euton, meanwhile, said Crossroads residents won't have to travel farther than downtown for some fun this weekend.
The first 200 donors receive a T-shirt, a $10 Harley-Davidson gift card and a chance to win a donor getaway package, including two Southwest Airlines round-trip tickets, a $500 Marriott gift card and a $200 Visa gift card presented by Frost Bank.
The local classic rock band the Marauders featuring Wild Bill will serenade the crowd from noon to 4 p.m.
Attendees can taste test chilis vying to be called the best. It costs $25 to enter the chili cook-off, and all proceeds go to HOGS Giving Hope, a charity group, said Emily Gower, the Victoria Harley-Davidson marketing manager.
"It's a good cause," Euton added. "We're trying to do things in Victoria that keep excitement in Victoria."