Family runs blood drive in honor of fallen officer
COLUMBIA - The family of fallen officer Molly Thomas Bowden hosted a blood drive Friday in her honor at Grace Bible Church.
This year marks the tenth year since Bowden's death in the line of duty. Organizers hope to receive 103 pints of blood from the drive, more than they've received in previous years.
While ten years may seem like a while for some, family members and close friends said this time has gone by quickly.
"To tell you the truth, sometimes it feels like it was a couple of weeks ago that we were enjoying spending time with Molly," said David Thomas, Bowden's father. "I have my moments but they pass quickly. Things like this blood drive and all the people here, the police department and all the public servants makes it a whole lot better."
On the day she was shot, Molly received 14 pints of blood. After realizing how important the need for blood was in the area, Bowden's family decided to start the blood drive. In its seventh year, Thomas said he thinks his daughter would be proud of what's going on.
"She'd say 'wow that's awesome dad,'" Thomas said. "Molly was just a happy person. She wanted everyone to be happy around her and say things were awesome and 'that's cool dad'".
Debbie Sorrell, one of the original organizers of the blood drive, agreed with the family that more blood donations are a worthy goal.
"It just needed to be done," Sorrell said. "We needed more of Molly's blood here in Columbia. From what I heard, they had to go to St. Louis to get it and we don't want that to happen with any other injury."
Though she never knew Bowden, Sorrell, a retired firefighter, said fellow firefighters and cops and the community in general have always been there to support their friends in the line of duty.
"They've always been great, they've always been super supportive and anyone with a badge of any kind in this area supports the blood drive and is one of our sponsors."
While many friends and family came to honor Bowden, others came to donate just to help support a good cause and potentially save some lives in the process. Red Cross officials said one pint of blood saves three lives.
The Molly Bowden Memorial Blood Drive was scheduled until 6 p.m.