Mara Hamilton

FAIRBORN, Ohio – The Fairborn cops were deadlocked with the Fairborn and Wright Patt firefighters in the annual “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive” voting Wednesday, June 29 when Enon donor Julie Hamilton arrived with her five-year-old daughter Mara.  With the final appointment to donate of the day and the final vote, Julie handed bragging rights to the firefighters.

The first hour of the blood drive was the busiest, with many City of Fairborn staff members donating before starting the work day. First-time blood drive coordinator Jennifer Abling and Fire Chief Mike Riley both made their 28th lifetime blood donations to help start the blood drive.

“We’re donating in honor of those who save lives on a regular basis,” said Jennifer, who works in the city finance department.  “Last year was not so successful because we didn’t have a coordinator, so I asked my supervisor if I could take over as recruiter.”

City employees and area donors gave the “Battle of the Badges” strong support, resulting in 25 registrations and 25 donations for 96 percent of the collection goal.

Jennifer and other city workers tend to vote for the police. Patty Hill, also from the finance department, made her 13th lifetime donation and voted for the police. “I alternate,” she said. “This year’s its police – I did fire last year!”

David Duell made his milestone 70th donation, and voted for the firefighters. “I retired from the Wright Patt environmental office, and we worked with the fire department,” he said.

Fairborn High School Assistant Principal Amy Gayheart celebrated the last day of the school year for the staff members by making her 9th lifetime donation. “I know people on both sides, whoever I feel stronger for on that day,” she said about her vote. She concluded, “I’ll probably go with police today” and added a smiley face to her vote.

“I try to donate when I can,” said Jaclyn Meyer, a new advocate in the prosecutor’s office. “I haven’t been in the area very long, but I have to vote for police!”

The “Battle of the Badges” appeared it would end in a tie when Steve Woolwine from Fairborn made his 94th lifetime donation and voted for the firefighters.  “My goal is to get to 100 next year,” he said.

But at the very end, it was Julie Hamilton’s final vote that tipped the scale to the firefighters. Her daughter Mara munched on cookies and watched her mother reach her “one gallon” milestone with her 8th lifetime donation.  “I can take her anywhere,” Julie said about her smiling daughter.  “Hopefully, when she gets old enough she’ll be a donor too.”


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