Finding Hope After Tragedy

BY MARIA BROWNSELL

Cookie Muggeo and Bruce MacRae.
Cookie Muggeo and Bruce MacRae.

On May 31, 2009, Jimmy McNicholas was crossing Middletown Road in Pearl River to get to his car when he was struck by a hit and run driver. Five years later police still have been unable to identify the driver of the dark SUV that struck McNicholas.

He was only 36-years-old when he perished and loved by all. In order to keep his memory going, his close friend Sergeant Jay Wood and other Stony Point PBA members started a blood drive in McNicholas’ honor.

This year is the fifth annual blood drive in Loving Memory of Jimmy McNicholas. The drive is “to honor Jimmy’s love of life by saving the lives of others in need through blood donation so that some good may come of this awful tragedy.” In the past years there have been an average of 85 donors and when all was said and done this year 87 pints of blood were collected.

John Corcoran
John Corcoran

“We do what we can to keep the story in the news,” said McNicholas’ sister, Meghan Scholl. “We want to let people know it’s still an active case. The police are still looking for whoever did this.”

The blood drive took place on Monday, February 24 from 3 – 9 p.m. in the RHO Building at Patriot Hills in Stony Point. Many people came out to support the event, whether through blood donation or volunteering their time. For those that donated blood, many different reasons were given.

Luanne Konopko and George Zayas
Luanne Konopko and George Zayas

“I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” said Bruce MacRae, a Stony Point resident of 40 years.

“I support the PBA just like they support me,” said Cookie Muggeo. “I save my blood for specific events during the year,” she joked.

“Blood is important. People need it. Children need it. It is right to help one another. It’s the best way to show support,” said Sharon Hoyt of Stony Point.

Councilman Jim Monagahn
Councilman Jim Monagahn

With the blood drive and other events throughout the year, family and friends of McNicholas hope to spread awareness of the horrible tragedy that took place five years ago in Pearl River. If anyone knows anything that could be of help to identify the hit and run driver it is never too late to contact the police.