MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio – Scoring votes by filling donor beds in the Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive is an elaborate game of musical chairs. The music started when both high schools hosted campus blood drives Tuesday, Oct. 24 to launch the 20th annual Challenge. At the end of the day Piqua held a “touchdown lead” of seven votes.
Every student, faculty and staff member who registered to donate at Tuesday’s blood drives represented a “vote” for either Troy or Piqua. Blood drive coordinators and student volunteers scrambled to fill every open appointment and donor bed to avoid losing any votes to their rival.
It will be the same game of musical donor beds on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 12 noon to six p.m. at the US Bank blood drives in Troy and Piqua. US Bank managers Emily Shawler in Piqua and Deborah Wildermuth in Troy will hurry to fill the donor beds before the music stops and the Challenge ends.
The town that totals the most votes will claim the Challenge. US Bank will award a $1,000 prize to the winning school Friday night before the coin toss at the 113rd renewal of the Troy-Piqua football rivalry in Troy Memorial Stadium.
PIQUA HIGH BLOOD DRIVE – 115 VOTES
The Piqua Indians grabbed the lead in the 20th annual Troy-Piqua Challenge with 115 registrations to donate for 115 votes. That total included 63 first-time donors and 92 donations.
“We had all of our slots filled, plus eight people on a waiting list,” said April Watson, Piqua blood drive coordinator and advisor for the student sponsor Interact Club.
“We always fill up our list every year but I think we had extra energy this year,” said Interact Club president Darby Bubp, a senior who made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday.
“In our senior class a lot of people are pushing for success a little harder,” said Darby. “I think that trickles down to the other classes as well.”
“I enjoy it,” said senior Cameron Woods, who voted for Piqua with his fourth lifetime donation. “I think a lot of people like the competitive part. I always like to help the community. That’s more what I like to do. I like helping people.”
TROY HIGH BLOOD DRIVE – 108 VOTES
The Troy Trojans put on a full court press in the school gym to fill as many donor beds as possible Thursday. They totaled 108 registrations but trail Piqua by seven votes. Their effort included 47 first-time donors and 87 donations.
“Usually we’re all full,” said volunteer Molly Sanders, a member of the ASTRA Club student sponsor group for Troy’s blood drives. “We have a lot of students who didn’t want to miss class or a spot was filled up, who plan on going to the community blood drive as well.”
The Troy community blood drive Thursday at the US Bank will welcome student donors to help stage a come-from-behind victory. “We’re definitely going to encourage students to go the US Bank,” said blood drive coordinator and ASTRA advisor Angie Anderson.
“I’m in the broadcast class and we’ve been talking about it all week,” said Jake Darby as he made his fourth lifetime donation Tuesday. “We made a donation video for their Facebook page.”
Senior Jessica Sutherly made her fifth lifetime donation and junior Jenna Rice made her first. “I’m just now at the eligible age,” said Jenna. They’re part of the team effort it will take to overtake rival Troy to win the 20th Troy-Piqua Challenge, bragging rights, and a $1,000 award for their school.