Remembering Reco Gunnels Sr.

Local family hosts annual “Give for Peace” blood drive with Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati in memory of brother, father, and active Avondale community member who tragically passed away in 2017.

Photo of Reco Gunnels, Sr.

Reco Gunnels, Sr.

In a heartwarming tribute to the memory of Reco Gunnels Sr., his family, business partners, and affiliates are uniting once again on September 8, 2023, to bring hope and make a lasting impact on the lives of their communities. The occasion marks the fifth annual “Give for Peace” blood drive, aimed at not only providing resources and education but also fostering a sense of togetherness that reflects Reco's spirit.

Reco Gunnels Sr., affectionately known as a gentle giant with an unwavering commitment to serving others, left a mark on all who knew him. This tribute, initiated by his family, not only honors his legacy but seeks to bring about positive change in the lives of those who attend.

The event is an embodiment of Reco's philosophy, "Go Big or Go Home!" The sentiment resonates through the remarkable efforts put into the Hoxworth blood drive. It's not just a memorial; it's a vibrant celebration of Reco's values and the impact he made during his time on Earth. Reco's spirit of service, inherited from their late mother Maxine Gunnels, continues to inspire the family and everyone involved.

Reco had a profound sense of community and camaraderie. He was known for organizing community cookouts to promote unity and support for those impacted by gun violence. Tragically, Reco himself fell victim to gun violence on August 24th, 2017. His family, community, and business partners are determined to turn the pain of loss into a driving force for change and justice.

"We hold onto hope to receive justice for our family and all that loved him," says Kelly Gunnels Valines, sister of Reco. “The blood drive serves as a symbol of that hope, as well as a way to give back to the community that Reco cared so deeply about.”

For the past five years, this blood drive has been a way for Reco's loved ones to remember him and honor his legacy. It's a unique blend of commemoration, education, and altruism - a true embodiment of Reco. By fostering a culture of blood donation, the event saves lives in the greater Cincinnati community and ensures that Reco's memory lives on.

Reco Gunnels Sr.'s legacy is one of love, service and unity. And on September 8, 2023, that legacy will shine brighter than ever, reminding us all that a life well-lived continues to touch hearts and change lives long after it has passed.

About the Give for Peace Blood Drive:
The Give for Peace blood drive honoring the memory of Reco Gunnels, Sr. will be hosted at the African American Chamber of Commerce, located at 2303 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, on September 8, 2023. The community event will be held from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Hoxworth Blood Center will be onsite for blood donation from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

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