Battle royale

Negaunee, Ishpeming square off for great cause

The city of Negaunee receives a trophy for winning the inaugural Blood Battle competition between Ishpeming and Negaunee to collect blood donations for the U.P Regional Blood Center. From left: Negaunee City Manager Nate Heffron, Josephine Thomson, Alyssa Hill and Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini. (Photo by Randy Crouch)

MARQUETTE — City of Negaunee City Manager Nate Heffron was presented with a trophy Tuesday for winning the inaugural Blood Battle, a fight to fill the blood bank event.

The blood drive between the cities of Negaunee and Ishpeming turned into a friendly competition between Heffron and Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini.

The idea for the Blood Battle came to Cugini when he learned that the Upper Peninsula was struggling with a blood shortage. Cugini, a veteran, decided that a good plan was to challenge Ishpeming’s rival city of Negaunee to a friendly competition to try and help the problem by holding blood drives in their respective cities, with the blood being donated to the U.P Regional Blood Center.

“We recognize that this is about community,” Cugini said, “even though Nate (Heffron) had to call in the younger, brighter minds from the National Honor Society to formulate a winning plan.”

Ishpeming’s blood drive took place Nov. 5 at the Ishpeming Senior Center, collecting 24 pints of blood. Five days later, Negaunee held its event at Negaunee High School with its tally reaching 53 pints, making for a grand total of 77. Each pint of blood has the capacity to save three lives, which means a grand total of 231 lives could be saved due to the event.

“We’re happy that our community came together to give blood,” said Heffron. “Winning wasn’t the important part. The important part was bringing awareness.”

The cities thanked the U.P. Regional Blood Center, Lake Superior Community Partnership, Midtown Bakery, Super One Foods of Negaunee, Love and Bicycles, Campfire Coffee, Jackson’s Pit, Fox Negaunee, Irontown Pasties, Smarty’s Saloon and Irontown Talk for their help in making the event a success.

Randy Crouch can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. His email address is rcrouch@miningjournal.net.


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