MIAMI COUNTY — It’s a milestone year in Miami County’s oldest and most lively rivalry with the 20th annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive coming during rival week of the Oct. 27 Troy-Piqua football game.
Troy and Piqua high schools will host competing blood drives on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Troy and Piqua US Bank branches will host competing blood drives on Thursday, Oct. 26. Each registration to donate represents a vote for one of the rival towns with the winning high school claiming a $1,000 prize from sponsor US Bank.
The 20th anniversary comes at the most competitive time in the history of the blood drive. Just five votes decided the 2016 Challenge. Troy surrendered the traveling trophy to Piqua last year, but the loss came after a flurry of three Troy victories in four years.
The 2016 win helped swing the series back in Piqua’s favor with a 14-4-1 record. Troy won the first Challenge in 1998 but that was followed by a string of 12 Piqua victories, broken only by a tie in 2001.
Last year all four blood drives took place during rivalry week, and both sides credit that concentrated effort for the most successful results in the Challenge history. The four blood drives totaled 414 donors, 141 first-time donors and 334 donations.
“Living and working in Piqua is a blessing!” said US Bank Piqua Branch Manager Emily Shawler, coordinator of the winning blood drive. “Living, working, and giving back to the community is even better! We are celebrating 20 years. Please come and donate blood to make this blood drive a huge success! Go P-I-Q-U-A, Beat Troy!”
The 2017 Challenge adds a new wrinkle. There will no longer be paper ballots at the community blood drives. Similar to the high school blood drives, a registration to donate at a community blood drive is an automatic vote for the host community.
It means if you want to vote for Piqua you must register to donate at the Piqua US Bank branch at 200 North College St. If you want to vote for Troy, you must register to donate at the Troy US Bank branch at 910 West Main St. Donation hours for both blood drives are noon to 6 p.m.
CBC encourages donors to schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE. Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “I Fight Cancer – I Give Blood” t-shirt.
The 2017 game will be the 133rd renewal of the Troy-Piqua football rivalry, one of the oldest in Ohio. The Challenge winner will be announced and the $1,000 award check presented Friday, Oct. 27 before kick-off at Troy Memorial Stadium.