Blood drive challenge marks 20-year anniversary

By Cody Willoughby

TROY — U.S. Bank held its annual blood drive at its Main Street location in Troy on Thursday.

The drive is held every year on the Thursday preceding the Troy-Piqua game, as a friendly contest held with Piqua’s branch of U.S. Bank. Troy won the first contest in 1998, but that was proceeded by a string of 12 victories from Piqua, broken up only by a tie in 2001.

“Piqua is the standing champ from 2016,” said Deborah Wildermuth, branch manager of U.S. Bank in Troy. “We’re hoping to win back the trophy this year.”

As an extra bonus, the winning school recieves a donation of $1,000 from U.S. Bank.

“It’s one of the most exciting aspects of the challenge, really. The company loves to give back to education,” Wildermuth said.

This year’s blood drive marks the 20th anniversary of the tradition at U.S. Bank.

“I’ve been chairman of the drive 13 of the 20 years. We’re pretty driven in giving back and helping those in need. Any time we can save a life, that’s even better.”

The annual blood drive has proven rewarding not only for the community, but also those who volunteer.

“Working in this field has been the best job I’ve ever had,” stated Katie Feeser, blood donation specialist for Community Blood Center in Dayton. “It’s a great feeling to be able to help people help others. Sometimes people want to offer a hand, but are unsure how, and this gives them a great way to do that. Blood donation helps people fulfill their dreams, and that’s a good feeling.”

The 2017 Troy-Piqua game will be the 133rd renewal of the ongoing football rivalry. The winner of the blood drive challenge will be announced, along with the presentation of the $1,000 award check, tonight before the 7:30 p.m. kick-off at Troy Memorial Stadium.