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“The Gift of Life” is what National Blood Donor Month is all about this January. Sadly, many people in the Greater Chicago area know the power of blood donations like Lake County resident and business owner Joseph Janicki. As a result, Janicki’s Brightway, The Janicki Agency has partnered with Versiti Blood Centers, Buffalo Creek Brewing and Culver’s Lake Zurich to hold the National Blood Donor Month Blood Drive at Buffalo Creek Brewing Jan. 24. Although this is their third such event, the passion for this has been in the making for nearly four decades.

Janicki was only seven years old when his father, Tony, faced end-stage renal failure and required a kidney transplant. Coincidentally, it would be another seven-year-old child who would make the life-saving procedure a reality. A tragic car accident that took one young life would ultimately result in saving Tony’s. Eighteen years would pass before the donated kidney would begin to fail. That’s when Joseph was able to give his own father a new lease on life by donating one of his kidneys, as well.

“Learning just how fragile life is as a kid was so powerful,” Janicki recalls. “One family’s worst nightmare was, in turn, an answered prayer for us. But you quickly learn just how precious each day is.”

Flash forward to 2014 when Joseph’s donated kidney began to fail and dialysis became his father’s true lifeblood.

“During his time on dialysis, I witnessed how hard it was for him to get approved for blood transfusions due to shortages,” Janicki said. “Being able to help people have access to the blood they need to stay alive is extremely important and very personal to me.” Tony Janicki survived five more years with the help of dialysis, all thanks to blood donations. Donors give more than 43,000 pints of blood daily throughout the United States and Canada. However, only 37 percent of the population is eligible to donate. But, less than 10 percent actually give each year. More than 4.5 million Americans require a blood transfusion every year.

The Jan. 24 event will run from 1 to 6 p.m. at Buffalo Creek Brewing at 360 Historical Lane in Long Grove. The public is invited to take part and donate their blood. All donors will receive a free Versiti beanie, a pint of Buffalo Creek Brewing beer and a coupon for a free pint of Culver’s Custard.

For more information, call Brightway, The Janicki Agency at 847-807-3200, stop by Brightway, The Janicki Agency on Facebook or visit

Brightway, The Janicki Agency offers customized Home, Flood, Auto, Boat, Condo, Renters, Personal Articles, RV, Motorcycle, Umbrella, and Life insurance policies from numerous insurance companies. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and Saturday/Sunday by appointment. Visit them at their office at 160 E. Main Street in Lake Zurich, Illinois, online at or call 847-807-3200


Brightway’s corporate office staff provides expertise and support in areas including customer service, technology, accounting, marketing, distribution and business analytics. In addition, Brightway handles carrier relations and appointments, as well as support with personnel hiring, licensing, onboarding, training and retention. The company’s signature after-the-sale service empowers Agency Owners, like Joseph, to focus on new business sales and provide customers the personalized service they deserve.

Established in 2008, Brightway grew to become one of the largest privately-owned property/casualty insurance distribution companies in the U.S. with more than 300 franchises in 34 states and over $900 million in annual premiums. Recently, Brightway’s success led to a private equity investment that has infused the company with financial and human capital, and data and analytics access, to accelerate growth and deliver new and exciting market opportunities.

Brightway produces winning outcomes for franchisees and their customers by offering access to customized coverage solutions from a range of insurers paired with full back office and marketing support.  This winning model allows agents and producers to focus on addressing the needs of their customers to become trusted advisors and grow their businesses.

For media inquiries, please contact Don Foley at 904-490-8649