As in everything in life, behind every great achievement are people that made it a success. And all the people involved in NYBC's Volunteer Leadership Program deserve substantial acknowledgement of their role in the successes of NYBC. These are faces of individuals who, in addition to the substantial positions they fill in other organizations, contribute their brain power, commitment, contacts, resources, and time to NYBC.
We take great pride in the quarter century of leadership from the members of NYBC's Volunteer Leadership Program, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Through two-year terms of Chairmanships from the leaders of prominent businesses in the area, the Volunteer Leadership Program perennially does an outstanding job to expand support for NYBC. Sector and regional chairs are enlisted from the various market segments and geographic areas of NYBC. This branching effect of leadership outreach disseminates the message for giving blood and supporting NYBC among those who can influence positive outcomes.
Volunteer Leadership Program teams are comprised of public figures, business leaders, educators, spiritual leaders, and health care officials. Through their outreach the Volunteer Leadership Program members continue to secure commitments from the most prominent leaders in our community providing increased visibility for New York Blood Center's mission. Blood donations, financial contributions, sponsorships, and public awareness increase as a result of their activities.
Recent successes of the Volunteer Leadership Program team members include innovative blood donor campaigns that have reshaped college drives and hospital presidents partnering with NYBC on the message to donate blood. Employees in Manhattan's signature skyline buildings are contributing blood at rates of over 30% above last year. Record numbers of blood donations are being made at investment banks contacted through this program. Kenneth Raske's outreach to Dennis Rivera, President of Local 1199 SEIU, has led to incredible growth in members blood donations from his union. A new donation site was established downtown Manhattan through a generous donation from Trizec Properties resulting from an outreach by MetLife's real estate executive Robert Merck. In June 2005, MetLife also donated the space for another new donor center at 200 Park Avenue in the MetLife Building adjacent to Grand Central Station. We are greateful for these new donation sites.
New York City Employee Blood Program continues to be NYBC's largest donor group, something that employees of New York City should be very proud of. New York's finest, the New York City Police Department, alone contributed over 8,000 pints of blood. New York City Police Department blood donations rise with borough commanders vying for the coveted Commissioner's Cup. New York City Fire Department firefighters make up the largest group of bone marrow donors. Both NYPD and FDNY have shown outstanding community leadership in building awareness for the need for blood and in participating as blood donors to support the city's supply.
Regional Chairmen host events to recognize the efforts of blood drive organizers, platelet donors, and NYBC volunteers in addition to select fundraising events. Friendly competitions within industries are promoted to generate additional interest and recognition. Thousands of high school donors from the schools with the highest participation levels attend a New York Yankees game where they cheer as their school banners are presented on field. From the youngest donors to the most seasoned platelet donors, the Volunteer Leadership Team helps to build and strengthen relationships.