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Posted on Sat, Nov 3, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Rise & Fall: 'Be a Hero at the Big House' and 626-724 N. Main Street in Ann Arbor

By Paula Gardner

One is using school spirit to hopefully help make a blood drive a big success, and the other is a project that is long past unsuccessful and needs to come to a close.

Here are our picks for Sunday's winner and loser from the news.

Rise: ‘Be a Hero at the Big House’

It’s a simple idea: Capitalize on Wolverines fever and the lure of Michigan Stadium to run a donor drive. This year, when the University of Michigan hosts its 2nd annual ‘Be a Hero’ event, that simple idea has turned into what U-M expects to be its largest donor drive ever. Participants can donate blood, sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, and be screened for bone marrow donation. And in return, they can tour the club-level seating area and get a souvenir photo with the stadium in the background. It’s a big idea that’s turned into a big success. The need is huge, too, with at least 115,000 people on national organ donor registry lists.

Fall: 626-724 N. Main Street in Ann Arbor

The houses that now comprise blight on a block along the northern gateway to Ann Arbor housed tenants back when Three Oaks Group acquired them for a condo project. Today, those houses need to be torn down - and the fact that they were allowed to fall into disrepair in the interim is a problem for the community. There were many signs that the projects proposed by Three Oaks weren’t working - even though we initially encouraged the solution to turn the site into affordable housing through the failed Avalon Housing partnership. We’re going to call this situation a lesson that we hope is learned and heeded by developers: Properties acquired for redevelopment should be maintained until just before demolition - and if you can’t afford to do that, you might be in over your head.