BEAVERCREEK – “I think we’re smokin’ it!” said Beavercreek Township Fire Chief David VandenBos as he donated Monday, Aug. 17 during the 2nd Annual Beavercreek Battle of the Badges Blood Drive at Peace Lutheran Church. It turned out to be a good call by the chief, because where there was smoke… there was another firefighters’ win over the rival Beavercreek Police.
Everyone who registered to donate could cast a vote by secret ballot, and support was strong for both sides. When the smoke cleared, 101 people had registered to donate with 52 voting for the firefighters and 33 for police. The results included 11 first-time donors and 87 donations for 99 percent of the collection goal.
It means back-to-back wins for the BTFD in this friendly competition, with a similar margin of victory as last year (59-41). The competition was revived with the help of Pat Cochran from the Beavercreek Township Fire Department Auxiliary, who joined forces with Dan Jessup, coordinator of the Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive sponsored by Peace Lutheran Church.
“I’m very happy because the turn-out is so good,” said Pat, as she joined Auxiliary volunteers serving bowls of chili in the Donor Cafe. “I spent 21 years in at Miami Valley Hospital working in dialysis and I could see the benefit of it. None of us know when we might need blood. When I get that phone call telling me where my blood donation was used it makes me feel good to know my blood helped someone.”
Helping others was the common cause at the blood drive, but choosing side in the Battle of the Badges did mean some indecision. “I guess I’ll vote for police,” said Frank Ciaravolo of Riverside, who made his 59th lifetime donation Monday. Frank felt he owed the police one. “I got stopped for rolling through a stop sign at 4 a.m. taking family to the airport. The policeman checked by record and said, ‘You’ve never had a violation’ and let me go.”
“I’m voting for police,” said Tuscan Duckro and fellow Beavercreek grad Emily Kim agreed. Both started donating I high school, and both start school at the University of Cincinnati next week. Tuscan made his 5th lifetime donation Monday and Kim, a Peace Lutheran member, made her 8th. “We thought they would be the underdogs,” said Tuscan. “And we want to vote for our school officer. Officer Brown is pretty cool. He came and talked to our government class.”
But sympathy for the firefighters was even stronger.
“I feel like they do more of the heavy lifting than giving out tickets,” said Allison Waker. Firefighter Nick Hoagland helped his team’s cause by donating after finishing his shift. “I haven’t given blood since 2001 at Miamisburg High School,” he said. “I got off this morning, and I’m taking a vacation day.”
Chief VandenBos came to the blood drive with Beavercreek Township Administrator Alex Zaharieff.
“I’m voting for the fire department,” Alex said. “It’s a good way to donate blood for a good cause. It’s the township fire department, so it’s the home team!”
Though the firefighters might have gotten the better of their rivals in the battle for votes, but they remain equal in appreciation of their public service. “I voted for both of them!” said Cathy Devitt after her milestone 25th lifetime donation. “I don’t know if I was supposed to, but I thought that was best!”
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