MIAMI COUNTY — Rival Week is not complete in Miami County without the Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive. It returns for the 22nd year with expanded community blood drives Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 that could result in another record-breaking week for saving lives.
The first salvos in the cross-county rivalry will come Monday, Oct. 28 when Troy and Piqua High Schools host campus blood drives. The Troy and Piqua US Bank branches will also host community blood drives during Rival Week, but on separate days. New for this year, the banks will also partner with nearby community blood drives on the same day to expand capacity and set the stage for perhaps a record vote total.
To vote for Troy, donors must register to donate Wednesday, Oct. 30 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at US Bank Troy, 910 West Main St., or at the Troy Church of the Brethren, 1431 West Main St.
To vote for Piqua, you must register to donate Thursday, Oct. 31 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. at US Bank Piqua, 200 North College St., or at Piqua Knights of St. John, 110 South Wayne St.
Everyone who registers to donate will receive the “My Compassion Defines Me. I Donate Blood to Fight Cancer” T-shirt. Make an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
For the first time in the 22-year history of the Troy-Piqua Challenge, supporters will be able to vote with a platelet or plasma donation. The Troy Church of the Brethren and Knights of St. John are both regular CBC donation sites for platelets and plasma.
Each registration to donate represents one vote. The winning school receives a $1,000 award from US Bank. The question in 2019: Can the challenge take the momentum from the past two years to an even higher level?
“We have more spots than ever before so Piqua and Troy both have a huge opportunity to impact their communities,” said US Bank Piqua Branch Manager Emily Shawler, coordinator of Piqua’s defending champion blood drive.
Piqua won the 2018 challenge and the $1,000 award by a 245-238 margin and improved its overall record against rival Troy to 16-4-1. This year, Piqua’s Thursday, Oct. 31 blood drive could be “Trick or Treat.”
“I’m doing pretty good on filling appointments so far,” Shawler said. “Hurting us a little is we have Beggar’s Night on blood drive day. We have to fill early appointments and I know kids will be tick or treating, including my kids. Other than that, it’s business as usual!”
Donor support in 2017 for the 20th anniversary of the challenge was the highest in the blood drive history with 419 students and community members voting. The 2018 challenge set new records of 438 donors and 396 units of blood donated, including 148 first-time donors.
The 2019 game will be the 135th renewal of the Troy-Piqua football rivalry, one of the oldest in Ohio. The challenge winner announcement and $1,000 check presentation will be Friday, Nov. 1 before kick-off at Troy Memorial Stadium.