Not only were the University of Montana Grizzlies bested on the field in Bozeman last weekend, Griz fans were outdone by the philanthropic efforts of Montana State University Bobcats fans as well.
The Bobcats are back-to-back state champions in the annual Can the Cats food drive with 608,915 pounds of donations over the 428,280 pounds donated by Griz fans. The Grizzlies also fell short in the blood (donation) battle and donated 64 fewer units of blood than Cats fans.
“We gotta give Gallatin Valley Food Bank and the whole Bozeman community a round of applause for raising so much food and funds this year,” wrote the Missoula Food Bank and Community Center in an Instagram post. “We may not have won this time, but the support of every school, postal carrier, business, office, Griz fan and neighbor means the absolute world to all of us.”
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Donations by Griz fans in the food drive went to benefit both the food bank and the UM Food Pantry.
Both philanthropic rivalries have been thriving for more than two decades. Regardless of the outcome, the friendly competitions are a win for both communities.
“Congrats to Cat fans and a huge thank-you to everyone who came out to donate lifesaving blood,” said Matt Ochsner, the communications director for the Red Cross of Montana, Idaho and East Oregon. “Keeping hospital shelves across Montana stocked is a win-win no matter who you cheer for.”
Over the last decade, the blood battle has brought in more than 1,760 units of blood. The timing of the blood drive is also critical, as blood donations tend to drop during the holidays.