Crystal Lake community holds blood drive, pays tribute to McHenry Co. deputy killed in line of duty

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. (WLS) -- The Crystal Lake community helped those in need while paying tribute to Jacob Keltner, a McHenry County sheriff's deputy who was killed serving an arrest warrant nearly two years ago.

"It means a lot to me and my family that the community continues to support us. We have over 350 people signed up today, so we're going to do some good. We're going to save some lives today," said Becki Keltner, Jacob's widow.

Becki said donating blood is a meaningful tribute to her late husband because it provided support to her own family in that of loss.

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"That blood actually made it possible for us to be with him in the hospital, and it also made it possible for him to donate blood, tissue and heart valves," Becki said.

According to the American Red Cross, every blood donation can save up to three lives, and there is a critical need for blood at the moment.

"Being able to, you know, do this for him and be able to save other people's lives, especially knowing there's a shortage, you know, love to come out here and do it for him and for the family and for the cause," said Erica Mack, blood donor.

Howard Keltner, Jake Keltner's father, was touched by the community support.

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"It means so much to me that Jake is still protecting people even though he's gone. He's still doing good, and he always will," Howard said.

ABC 7 Chicago expanded to five locations to accommodate people and encourage social distancing while donating blood. People can donate between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Foglia YMCA in Lake Zurich, Georgios Banquets in Orland Park, Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg and Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana. At the Field Museum, street parking is available as well as parking in the east museum lot near Soldier Field at a $10 reduced rate.

Appointments are needed and preferred. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit ABC 7 Chicago's website to register.
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