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BEAVERCREEK COPS LEAD THE COMEBACK FOR BATTLE OF BADGES BLOOD DRIVE

October 19, 2021

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio - It felt good to be back donating and celebrating the seventh annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive Oct. 18 at Peace Lutheran Church. Beavercreek police were beaming about winning the challenge after donors gave 48 votes to the cops, a close 42 votes to the Beavercreek Township firefighters, and a big fat "0" to COVID-19.

BPD Community Engagement Officer Kris Brownlee clutched the new traveling trophy donated by Life House Church and spoke like a proud football coach. "It was a tough battle," he said, "but my team fought back and got the final TD, and it was in overtime because we won by six points! It was just a great turnout."

The turnout total was 95 donors, 81 donations and 10 first-time donors for 102% of collection goal.  That was about 10% shy of the last Battle of the Badges in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. But interest in the challenge helped increase donors by nearly 80% compared to the August blood drive at Peace Lutheran.

The original goal of the Battle of the Badges challenge was to help boost the late summer blood supply. Reviving it in October benefitted Community Blood Center because of the lingering impact of COVID-19 restrictions this fall on many blood drives.

"I think we're excited about getting back to normal," said BTFD Division Chief Scott Dorsten after donating for the firefighters. "This is one of the things we've always enjoyed as a fun rivalry. We're not the winners, the community is, and those in need."

The firefighters topped the vote count in four of the first five Battle of the Badges. Police turned the tide in 2019, then COVID-19 sidelined the competition in 2020.  Beavercreek Township Administrative Professional Tori King took on the challenge of bringing it back.

"I've been with the Fire Department two years, and my parents were actually in law enforcement," said Tori. "So, I was interested in the Battle of the Badges because of the 'family divided!"

The firefighter auxiliary served donors "Hillbilly Chili," the winning recipe from the Station 64, Platoon C entry the Octobe Fire Prevention Week chile contest.  The police countered with dozens of donuts donated by Bill's Donut Shop in Centerville.

Xenia donor Sharyl Marable wore pink to donate in honor of October Breast Cancer Awareness Month and cast her vote for the firefighters. "We need them both!" she said. "I think we need the Fire Department… but I like police too. It's not their fault they have to take someone to jail!"

"I loved meeting the people," said Tori who made her first lifetime donation for the firefighters. "That was the most heart-warming thing, to hear their stories about being long-time donors. It became more real as it went on."

Officer Brownlee and Tori were most impressed by Beavercreek donor John Teevan who came to donate with his daughter Lenore. He is 91 years old, donates every two months at the Peace Lutheran blood drives, and has 207 lifetime donations.

When blood drives were cancelled during the height of the pandemic, John ignored the warnings about leaving home and talked Lenore into taking him to the Dayton CBC to make his 200th donation. "Oprah Winfrey donated $10 million to Hurricane Katrina victims," he said. "I can't do that. But I can donate."

John donated at the 2019 Battle of the Badges just days after losing his wife Alice.  They were married 61 years. "She donated 18 gallons," said John. "She was attractive, and her personality was even better."

John is a Navy veteran of the Korean War and proudly wore his veterans cap. It was his way of showing he supports all men and women in uniform.

"I didn't have it all that great or all that bad, but some people had it awful." He held up his fingers and said, "'V' for Victory and 'V' for veterans! Get that free meal on Veteran's Day!"