October 29, 2019

MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio - Student donors took the opening kickoff in the 22nd annual Community Blood Center/US Bank Troy-Piqua Challenge with busy Oct. 28 blood drives at Troy and Piqua High Schools.  Donors in the rival towns will now decide who will claim the Challenge trophy and $1,000 award from US Bank.

Troy will vote Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the US Bank Troy and Troy Church of the Brethren blood drives. Piqua votes Thursday, Oct. 31 with Halloween blood drives at US Bank Piqua and Piqua Knights of St. John.  The town with the most donors will be announced as the Challenge winner Friday night before the Troy-Piqua football game at Troy Memorial Stadium.

"I think it's going to be Troy," said Troy High senior Michael Mong as he made his fifth lifetime donation at Monday's Troy High blood drive. "But I don't know… they have a lot show up at Piqua."

Both high schools say they have faced challenges recruiting donors during an especially busy fall semester.

"It's a good goal and we have a lot of people," said Angie Anderson, advisor for the ASTRA club, the student sponsor organization for the blood drive. "They like to compete, we have a lot more people. It's a good crowd."

Sophomore Olivia Kohn voted for Troy with her first lifetime donation. "My mom donates, my sister donated at Troy," said Olivia. "It's really good to do to help people."

"This is my seventh year coordinating the blood drive and it's been the hardest year," said April Watson, advisor for the Piqua High blood drive student sponsor Interact Club. "But my kids love doing it. They love to work it."

Piqua High administrators rallied support, with Principal Rob Messick, Assistant Principal Joe Taylor, and Athletic Director Chip Hare all donating.

 "When someone says, 'Piqua is doing alright,' I say I don't want to hear it!" said Chip. "I never know what to expect until I get that result on Friday."