Milestone birthdays are certainly a cause for celebration, think Caribbean cruise, gold watch or big party, but the guests invited to Wayne Fellrath's party aren't bringing a swimsuit or an elegantly wrapped gift, they're donating blood.
Fellrath, a retired New York City firefighter, turns 60 this month. As someone who spent his career saving lives, the idea was natural.
"It's a reflection on how he has lived his life," said his wife Pat. "It seemed appropriate."
The idea sprang when Pat's daughter, who regularly donates platelets, saw a New York Blood Center poster promoting the idea. As a family, they give blood frequently so the event became a celebration for the entire family.
Wayne, who went to high school in Port Jefferson and now lives in Shoreham, thought the event would be a good way to reconnect with friends, to celebrate his birthday and to celebrate life.
"There is such a shortage. We thought it was a nice thing to do," said Pat.
The party happens Friday from 2 p.m.-8 p.m. at the Mt. Sinai Moose Lodge and like any party, there will be cake. Walk -ins are welcome or guests can sign up in advance.
"It's not a difficult thing to do, it doesn't take a lot of time, it's free and it saves someone's life," said Pat.
Sounds like Wayne's gifts will keep on giving. Now that's something to celebrate.
The Moose Lodge is located at 37 Crystal Brook Hollow Road in Mt. Sinai. If you would like to register, email Wayne at WayneFellrath@gmail.com. Walk-ins are welcome.