MIAMISBURG, Ohio – Rivals Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools are again joining forces to save and improve the lives of their neighbors.  The 2016 “Unity in the Community” campaign got underway Friday, Nov. 18 with Miamisburg High School’s Unity Blood Drive.

Friday’s MHS blood drive set a fast pace for this year’s campaign with 158 donors, including an outstanding 122 first-time donors and 123 blood donations for 108 percent of the collection goal.

The “Unity in the Community” campaign is a partnership between Community Blood Center, Universal 1 Credit Union, and Miamisburg and West Carrollton High Schools. Universal 1 donates $500 to each school as an award for hosting a fall blood drive. The rival schools combine the awards and present $1,000 to a charity.

Last year the MHS Student Government chose a favorite cause, the Montgomery County CARE House Child Advocacy Center, to receive the Unity award.  In April they also raised more than $5,500 for CARE House with the annual “Taking Strides for Prevention 5K Run/Walk.”

West Carrollton will choose the charity recipient this year.  MHS Student Government President Ryan Slaughenhaupt said emphasis this year was on supporting the Unity blood drive.

“We’ve had problems where every student didn’t understand what was going on with the blood drive and the goal of the Unity campaign,” said Ryan as he made his first lifetime donation Friday. “We’ve shown it on ‘Belvo TV’ at lunch. We definitely emphasized the blood drive, but its two great things in one, so you really can’t go wrong.”

“Ryan did a great job explaining it,” said Student Government advisor and blood drive coordinator Jennifer Brockert at Friday’s blood drive.  “We will definitely do CARE House for Unity next year.  We had all 160 spots filled for the blood drive and we’re working through our wait list now.”

Senior McKenzie Wilson made her third lifetime donation at Friday’s blood drive. “It’s just something to do for people – something I can do,” she said. “I know my blood type is helpful, especially for children and I have tons of nieces and nephews.”

MHS Student Government will host the third annual “Taking Strides for Prevention 5K Run/Walk” for CARE House on April 23, 2017.

“Child abuse is not mentioned as much as some other groups,” said Ryan. “In awareness, child abuse is not always up there. We take pride in giving voice to something that doesn’t usually have it.”

West Carrollton will host its “Unity in the Community Blood Drive” on Dec. 2.  The check presentation to the charity chosen by West Carrollton will take place at a Miamisburg-West Carrollton basketball game.

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