MIAMI COUNTY — Blood donor bragging rights are loud and proud in Piqua. The 2019 Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive was the biggest in the blood drive’s history, and Piqua won by the widest ever margin.
After six blood drives in the rival towns, the 2019 Challenge set a record with 509 donors. Piqua claimed the trophy with 285 donors compared to 224 for Troy. It marks the fourth consecutive year the $1,000 Challenge Award will go to Piqua High School.
“We had staff donate,” said Piqua High Principal Rob Messick, who accepted the award from sponsor US Bank in an announcement ceremony before kickoff of the Troy-Piqua game at Troy Memorial Stadium. “We thought if we would do it, we would have more kids do it, if we all joined in.”
Piqua improved its overall record in the Troy-Piqua Challenge to 17-4-1. Principal Messick says it has become a tradition to use the prize money to build character.
“For us it’s the Student Incentive program,” he said. “Every year it goes directly into that account. It rewards kids for doing things right: helping a classmate out, good attendance, having good grades.
Piqua and Troy High schools combined for 192 donors in the opening blood drives on Monday of rival week. Piqua dominated early with 112 to 80 advantage.
New this year, the US Banks each partnered with a nearby community blood drives on the same day to expand capacity and set the stage for a record vote total. It was also the first challenge to include platelet and plasma donations.
The Troy community blood drives on Wednesday at US Bank Troy and the Troy Church of the Brethren totaled 144 donors.
The Piqua community blood drives on Thursday at US Bank Piqua and Piqua Knights of St. John totaled 154 donors. The blood drive total included 408 units donated and 121 first-time donors.