September 9, 2019

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio - Beavercreek Police put the edge back into their friendly rivalry with the Beavercreek Township Firefighters by winning the sixth annual "Battle of the Badges Blood Drive" Sept. 9 at Peace Lutheran Church.  Donors voted for police by a 54-46 margin.

It gave police their second win in the rivalry and their first since 2016. It was also the second best collection day. The blood drive totaled 106 donors, including 92 donations and 13 first-time donors for 108 percent of the collection goal.  The six-year total is now 645 donors.

"I've got to be happy with that number," said Beavercreek Community Engagement Officer Mark Brown after all the donor votes were tallied. "It's fine," said Pat Cochran who organizes the Battle of the Badges with BTFD Auxiliary volunteers and Peace Lutheran Church blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup. "We got a lot of blood today. It was fun!"

After four victories in the challenge, the firefighters had reason to be confident and BTFD Chief David VandenBos wasn't letting up. "No, total domination!" he said after donating. "I like those guys well enough, but I don't want them to win, and I would expect nothing else from them!"

The blood drive was an opportunity for donors to show their appreciation for all first responders. The Memorial Day tornadoes impacted Beavercreek, and many felt a strong sense of gratitude to all police officers after the Oregon District shootings. "It's been all public safety this year with the events," said Officer Brown. "The shooting really resonated."

Peace Lutheran blood drive coordinator Dan Jessup agreed. "We have 9/11 remembrance this week and I think it's because of Dayton Strong," he said.

  "This is my favorite blood donation," said donor Carol Cutright. "I come every year. I work at the Greene County Prosecutors office, and work with law enforcement people. But the firemen do a great job too!"

Karen Hawk was again at the blood drive to greet donors with her therapy dog April.  April is gentle Golden Retriever who often visits patients at Soin Medical Center and Dayton Children's Hospital.

"I'm totally voting for the police officers because they're watching my kids right now," said Beavercreek donor Tiffany Scott, an ICU nurse at Grandview Medical Center.   Officer Brown gave Tiffany's three boys a ride in BPD's new Polaris off-road vehicle. The department purchased the four-wheeler in time to help access Beavercreek neighborhoods heavily damaged by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

  "Off they all went in the ATV," said Tiffany. "They're amazing."

John Teevan is 89 years old, lives near Peace Lutheran, and is a regular donor at the church blood drives. He made his 198th lifetime donation at the Battle of the Badges, just days after losing his wife Alice.  They were married 61 years.

"She was attractive, and her personality was even better," said John. "Tomorrow's the funeral. She donated 18 gallons of blood! I'm going to pass through this world, and I'm going to do a little bit of good while I pass through."

As for his vote, John pointed to his Smokey the Bear t-shirt and said, "I got my Smokey shirt on so I'm voting for the Smokey firefighters!"