October 27, 2017

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio - It was pride, passion, and a Piqua victory as the Indians were announced winners of the 20th annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive before the Friday, Oct. 27 football game at Troy Memorial Stadium.

Both rivals will now face a stiff "Challenge" next year trying to repeat the record-setting success of 2017.

Donor support was the highest in the 20-year history of this cross-county rival blood drive. Overall, 419 students and community members "voted" by registering to donate at the high school blood drives on Oct. 24 and the US Bank community blood drives on Oct. 26.   There were 155 first-time donors and 356 pints of blood donated.  Each new benchmark was the highest in the history of the Troy-Piqua Challenge.

Defending champion Piqua held a "touchdown" lead of seven votes, 115-108, following the high school blood drives on Tuesday. The community blood drives at the US Bank branches in Troy and Piqua battled to a tie with an equal number of donor votes, giving Piqua the victory by a 213-201 margin.


US Bank Piqua Manager Emily Shawler is a proud Piqua alumnus and she was determined to hold tight to the Challenge trophy on display in the bank.

Her team wore matching "Troy vs. Piqua" sweatshirts with their name on the front and their teller number on the back.  "We have some who are from Troy, but they're all on the Piqua team now!" said Emily.

Destine Wale, a 2013 Piqua graduate, made her first lifetime donation. "My mother has multiple sclerosis," she said of her motivation to become a donor. "That has opened my eyes to it a lot. I see how this helps so much."

Bretnie Collum is a young mom who started donating at Piqua High and was a CBC "Red Cord" graduate in 2012. "Every time I donate I get a phone call saying where my blood was used," she said. "If my daughter was in that same position it would be nice to know someone helped her."


Troy High students Hannah Setser and Evelyn Plunkett couldn't donate Tuesday, but came to the US Bank Troy community blood drive Thursday hoping to rally the Trojans from a seven-vote deficit. "I had a field trip that day," said Evelyn. "I really wanted to go to the blood drive, and my teacher told me about this."

Alicia Love is a Piqua grad with a daughter at Troy High who told her, "Mom, you're a Trojan now."   But it was her father's battle against cancer that motivated Alicia to try to donate for the first time.

"My dad was sick in January and almost died," she said. "He had to have three blood transfusions. He was at The James (Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center) for a week and is still going through treatment. This is perfect."

US Bank Troy Manager Deborah Wildermuth was a Challenge winner when she managed the Piqua US Bank branch, and has helped Troy win three of the last five Challenges.  On Thursday, she boarded the Bloodmobile, rolled up her sleeve, and helped the cause again.

"I do this every year because I believe in it," said Deborah. "I have a passion for helping people."


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.

The Troy Trojans put on a full court press Tuesday in the school gym blood drive.  They totaled 108 registrations but trailed Piqua by seven votes. Their effort included 47 first-time donors and 87 donations.

  "I think we had extra energy this year," said Interact Club president Darby Bubp, who made her fourth lifetime donation Tuesday. "In our senior class a lot of people are pushing for success a little harder. 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."

Piqua will keep the Troy-Piqua Challenge Blood Drive trophy for another year, and will enjoy the US Bank $1,000 award.  Piqua continues to lead the Challenge series with a 15-4-1 record.