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MTSU nabs ‘blood battle’ trophy for 6th year over ...

MTSU nabs ‘blood battle’ trophy for 6th year over WKU; 1,000+ gallons collected, 26K lives helped [+VIDEO]

MTSU proudly accepted the annual “blood battle” challenge trophy for the sixth time in its eight-year competition with Conference USA rival Western Kentucky University, but once again, the true winners are the 3,000-plus neighbors across several states whose lives may be saved by the 1,015 total pints of blood donated this year by the universities’ supporters.

MTSU donors rolled up their sleeves to give 603 pints of whole blood Oct. 29-31, beating the university’s self-imposed three-day goal by 141 pints. WKU beat its 2018 donation goal by 18 much-needed units, collecting 412 pints on the Bowling Green campus over the same three-day period.

This 2018 MTSU tally is nearly a record-breaker, second only to its 2012 collection of 618 pints of blood. WKU set its own record in 2012 to win the challenge trophy with 637 units of donated blood.

MTSU supporter Martha Tolbert, left, watches Oct. 30 while American Red Cross phlebotomist Selina Davis helps her finish donating a pint of blood at the annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" drive in the university's Campus Recreation Center. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU supporter Martha Tolbert, left, watches Oct. 30 while American Red Cross phlebotomist Selina Davis helps her finish donating a pint of blood at the annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” drive in the university’s Campus Recreation Center. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“We were hoping that MTSU wins this year, but really we know it’s the community that wins in this blood drive,” said Kathy Ferrell, executive director for the Murfreesboro-based American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee chapter.

“We are so excited to have so many people donating. For this chapter, the campus is really at the center of our community, so we’re thrilled for students to be engaging in our Red Cross mission and helping move that mission forward. It’s been particularly close to our hearts this time of year because of the Salute to Veterans (football) game.”

The Fall Blood Drive Competition trophy is once again at home at MTSU after the university's supporters donated 603 pints of whole blood Oct. 29-31 to win the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time since 2010. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

The Fall Blood Drive Competition trophy is once again at home at MTSU after the university’s supporters donated 603 pints of whole blood Oct. 29-31 to win the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time since 2010. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

MTSU supporters are now six-time champs in the “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” challenge, helping to collect almost 8,705 total pints of blood — more than 1,088 gallons —with WKU since 2010. Because each unit of blood can aid three different patients, the competition has helped more than 26,115 people across Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

In effect, MTSU and WKU donors have saved almost the equivalent of the city of Bristol, Tennessee, in Sullivan County. Bristol’s current population is 26,842, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

The annual challenge trophy was presented at the MTSU vs. WKU football game in Floyd Stadium Nov. 2, and Keith Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, accepted for the university. Huber helped to encourage donors with his personal story of lifesaving blood on battlefields and in operating rooms.

“I saw the value of blood to the men and women in uniform that I served and during the most dire circumstances of injuries or combat-related incidents,” he said of his 38-year military career, “and also to my family as I watch blood being provided by others.

“I would pray that the public doesn’t need to face those life-and-death situations and the trauma associated with it to recognize that blood collection is essential.”

Ferrell noted that the “blood battle” success will help local Red Cross organizations rebuild supplies already decimated in the wake of blood-drive cancellations forced by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. She added that the need for blood is constant and increases during holiday travel.

“The need is great, and MTSU is leading efforts to meet that need,” she said.

Those who were unable to donate during MTSU’s blood drive can visit www.redcrossblood.org anytime and type in their ZIP code to make an appointment at another local drive or blood donation center.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

A fresh pile of Connection Point collectible buttons awaits MTSU students who donated blood or volunteered at the annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" drive in the university's Campus Recreation Center Oct. 30. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

A fresh pile of Connection Point collectible buttons awaits MTSU students who donated blood or volunteered at the annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” drive in the university’s Campus Recreation Center Oct. 30. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Elizabeth Smith, left, coordinator for MTSU's Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program, watches Oct. 30 while an American Red Cross phlebotomist prepares to collect a pint of blood at the annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" drive in the university's Campus Recreation Center. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Elizabeth Smith, left, coordinator for MTSU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Program, watches Oct. 30 while an American Red Cross phlebotomist prepares to collect a pint of blood at the annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” drive in the university’s Campus Recreation Center. MTSU won the competition with Western Kentucky for the sixth time with 603 pints of whole blood donated Oct. 29-31. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

 


 

‘Here’s your opportunity,’ MTSU: Donate blood Oct. 29-31 to save lives, ‘Bleed Blue, Beat WKU’ [+ VIDEO]

Oct. 19, 2018

Want to help make a True Blue difference in the MTSU community? Make an appointment today to donate blood Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, to save our neighbors’ lives — and continue our winning streak in the eighth annual blood drive competition with Conference USA rival Western Kentucky University.

Donors can schedule an appointment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 29-31 inside MTSU’s Campus Recreation Center, 1848 Blue Raider Drive, by visiting www.redcrossblood.org and typing in “MTSU” or using the “American Red Cross Blood” app, available here.

Walk-in donors are welcome, but those with appointments will be processed first and finish their donations faster. On donation day, donors can save even more time by completing the “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

MTSU supporters are five-time champs in the “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” challenge, helping to collect almost 7,700 total pints of blood — more than 961 gallons —with WKU since 2010. Because each unit of blood can aid three different patients, the competition has helped more than 23,000 people across Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

WKU will conduct its blood drive Oct. 29-31, too, and the university with the most donations will receive the annual challenge trophy at the MTSU vs. WKU football game in Floyd Stadium Friday, Nov. 2.

MTSU student Mari-Lynn Wilson of McMinnville, Tenn., gets support and a big thumbs-up from Lightning, the MTSU mascot, as she donates blood during the 2017 "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive in the Campus Recreation Center. The exercise science major, now a senior, was one of 461 successful donors at MTSU's 2017 event, pushing the university community to its fifth win in seven years over Western Kentucky. The 2018 "Bleed Blue" MTSU community blood drive is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU student Mari-Lynn Wilson of McMinnville, Tenn., gets support and a big thumbs-up from Lightning, the MTSU mascot, as she donates blood during the 2017 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive in the Campus Recreation Center. The exercise science major, now a senior, was one of 461 successful donors at MTSU’s 2017 event, pushing the university community to its fifth win in seven years over Western Kentucky. The 2018 “Bleed Blue” MTSU community blood drive is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

That game also will serve as MTSU’s annual “Salute to Veterans and Armed Services” celebration honoring U.S. veterans and active-duty military personnel.

Keith Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives at MTSU and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, has seen blood save lives on battlefields and in operating rooms where loved ones lay. It’s even saved him.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives

Lt. Gen. Keith Huber

“I saw the value of blood to the men and women in uniform that I served and during the most dire circumstances of injuries or combat-related incidents,” he said of his 38-year military career, “and also to my family as I watch blood being provided by others.

“I would pray that the public doesn’t need to face those life-and-death situations and the trauma associated with it to recognize that blood collection is essential. … So many people go, ‘Gee, you know I want to help people, I want to make a contribution, I want to give back to society, to our community, to our nation.’ And then they come up with this excuse of ‘But, but … gee, I don’t know how. How do I get there? How do I provide something that is of value?’ Here it is. Here’s the answer.

Bleed Blue 2018 graphic“Here’s an opportunity for you to make a contribution to individuals in need, to our community, to our nation — to do something that is larger than yourself, to make a contribution and to serve those in need, whether it be from the horror of combat or accidents on the roadway or natural disasters.”

Huber explains more about the need to serve our community by donating blood in the brief video below.

The Oct. 29-31 drive is open to all MTSU students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as all MTSU neighbors and supporters across Murfreesboro, Rutherford County and the Midstate.

Kathy Ferrell, executive director of the American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee Chapter, said that while the need for blood is constant and increases during holiday travel, recent deadly weather around the United States has made demand greater and blood supplies more limited.

“Please know that we have lost the opportunity to collect over 7,500 pints of blood as a result of blood drive cancellations in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael,” Ferrell said, noting that the loss could affect up to 22,500 patients across the country.

We Bleed True Blue graphic“The need is great, and MTSU is leading efforts to meet that need.”

MTSU donors can prepare for their appointments now by cutting back on caffeine, eating iron-rich foods and getting extra rest. Visit the Red Cross website for more blood donation suggestions.

Donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center Oct. 29-31, and each will receive a T-shirt while supplies last. Director of Athletics Chris Massaro also is giving each MTSU donor four free tickets to the Nov. 24 MTSU vs. University of Alabama-Birmingham football game.

For directions to the Rec Center, visit www.mtsu.edu/camprec/directions.php.

For updates and more information about the blood drive, follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtags #BleedBlueMTSU and #BleedBlueBeatWKU.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

A full house of donors give life-saving blood on the first day of MTSU’s 2017 "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive in the university’s Recreation Center. The 2018 "Bleed Blue" MTSU community blood drive is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

A full house of donors give lifesaving blood on the first day of MTSU’s 2017 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive in the university’s Recreation Center. The 2018 “Bleed Blue” MTSU community blood drive is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

MTSU blood donors at the 2018 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” community blood drive Oct. 29-31 will receive one of the custom “Blood Battle” T-shirts as thanks for their life-saving gift. (MTSU photo)

MTSU blood donors at the 2018 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” community blood drive Oct. 29-31 will receive one of the custom “Blood Battle” T-shirts as thanks for their lifesaving gift. (MTSU photo)

Ray Wiley, right, assistant director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a member of the university's blood drive committee, accepts the American Red Cross "MTSU vs. WKU Fall Blood Drive" challenge trophy from Gene Baker, Red Cross senior account manager for donor recruitment, during a break in the November 2017 MTSU vs. WKU football game in Bowling Green, Ky. MTSU community donors gave 461 pints of blood to win the friendly seven-year competition for the fifth time. The 2018 "Bleed Blue" MTSU community blood drive, now in its eighth year, is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (Photo submitted)

Ray Wiley, right, assistant director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a member of the university’s blood drive committee, accepts the American Red Cross “MTSU vs. WKU Fall Blood Drive” challenge trophy from Gene Baker, Red Cross senior account manager for donor recruitment, during a break in the November 2017 MTSU vs. WKU football game in Bowling Green, Ky. MTSU community donors gave 461 pints of blood to win the friendly seven-year competition for the fifth time. The 2018 “Bleed Blue” MTSU community blood drive is set 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31, and donors can make appointments now at http://ow.ly/qU6X30miRZ2. (Photo submitted)


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