Piqua wins blood drive challenge

Rivals combine for a record year of helping save lives

PIQUA — In a football rivalry, trailing two touchdowns at half time and winning by a touchdown is a victory for the ages. Piqua trailed rival Troy by 14 “votes” in the 21st annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive, but came from behind to claim its third consecutive blood drive victory by seven votes.

The seven-vote margin was the same as last year’s record-setting blood drive, but the overall blood drive total was even more impressive. The Miami County rivals not only topped last year’s record they smashed it with a whopping 15 percent increase in donors.

The winner of the $1,000 award from US Bank was announced Friday, Oct. 26 just before Troy and Piqua kicked-off the 134th renewal of their football rivalry. Both sides can take pride in knowing their combined high school and US Bank community blood drives set new records of 438 donors and 396 units of blood donated, including 148 first-time donors.

Troy emerged from Tuesday’s rival high school blood drives with an early lead of 14 votes. Troy High School Principal Dave Dilbone is a regular donor at every Troy blood drive, including this year’s Challenge.

“I know you’re supposed to wait 56 days in between,” he laughed, “but I think I tried to donate twice!”

He took pride in his students registering 123 donors, a 13 percent increase over last year.

On Thursday it was up to the communities to decide the challenge outcome by voting at the US Bank blood drives in Troy and Piqua.

The Piqua US Bank blood drive totaled 136 donors, a 39 percent increase over last year. The Troy US Bank blood drive was outstanding as well, totaling 115 donors, an 8.5 percent increase. But additional appointments available at all blood drives this year gave the Piqua US Bank branch a better chance to stage a come-back.

“It’s always great to be able to outshine Troy,” said Piqua High School Principal Rob Messick, whose school will benefit from the $1,000 prize. “But the best thing is the ability to do something great for the community. This much support for the whole community – it makes you feel great about being able to do this.”

Piqua increased its lead in the Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive history to 16-4-1.

Learn more at www.GivingBlood.org

Rivals combine for a record year of helping save lives