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MTSU is 7-time ‘blood battle’ winner; competition ...

MTSU is 7-time ‘blood battle’ winner; competition with WKU helps 28K-plus since 2010

Ray Wiley, left, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a longtime American Red Cross volunteer, joins MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro to hoist the annual “blood battle” challenge trophy aloft Saturday, Nov. 30, at at the MTSU vs. Western Kentucky University football game in Bowling Green. Cheering behind them are members of the MTSU Band of Blue. MTSU won the annual blood drive contest for the third straight year and the seventh time since it began in 2010. (Photo submitted)

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. MTSU proudly accepted the annual “blood battle” challenge trophy for the seventh time Saturday, Nov. 30, in its nine-year competition with Conference USA rival Western Kentucky University.

But the true winners, once again, are the 2,300-plus neighbors across several states whose lives may be saved by the 775 total pints of blood donated this year by the universities’ supporters.

MTSU donors rolled up their sleeves to give 397 pints of whole blood at the Campus Recreation Center Nov. 18-20. WKU collected 378 pints on the Bowling Green campus over the same three-day period.

Ray Wiley, left, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a longtime American Red Cross volunteer, joins MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro to hoist the annual “blood battle” challenge trophy aloft Saturday, Nov. 30, at at the MTSU vs. Western Kentucky University football game in Bowling Green. Cheering behind them are members of the MTSU Band of Blue. MTSU won the annual blood drive contest for the third straight year and the seventh time since it began in 2010. (Photo submitted)

Ray Wiley, left, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a longtime American Red Cross volunteer, joins MTSU Director of Athletics Chris Massaro to hoist the annual “blood battle” challenge trophy aloft Saturday, Nov. 30, at at the MTSU vs. Western Kentucky University football game in Bowling Green. Cheering behind them are members of the MTSU Band of Blue. MTSU won the annual blood drive contest for the third straight year and the seventh time since it began in 2010. (Photo submitted)

MTSU supporters are now seven-time champs in the “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” challenge, helping to collect 9,480 total pints of blood — that’s 1,185 gallons —with WKU since 2010, when Director of Athletics Chris Massaro established the competition.

Because each unit of blood can aid three different patients, the competition has helped an estimated 28,440 people across Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

In effect, MTSU and WKU donors have saved almost the equivalent of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Its current population is 29,009, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

"Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" 2019 blood-drive competition graphic

“This annual Red Cross event is special because it allows everyone, on and off both campuses, the opportunity to give a life-saving gift and truly make a positive difference,” said blood drive coordinator Ray Wiley, associate director of MTSU Campus Recreation and a longtime Red Cross volunteer.

American Red Cross officials presented the annual challenge trophy at the MTSU vs. WKU football game in Smith Stadium. This year’s blood-drive win is the third straight success for Blue Raider supporters.

Red Cross officials have noted that the ongoing “blood battle” successes — for both universities — help local organizations rebuild and maintain supplies affected when inclement weather forces blood-drive cancellations. The need for blood is constant, they added, and increases during holiday travel periods.

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

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU student Pinkie Fossett, left, relaxes while American Red Cross workers pamper her during her blood donation Monday, Nov. 18, at MTSU's 2019 "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive in the Campus Recreation Center. Fossett and 396 other successful MTSU community donors helped the university win the friendly competition for the third straight year and the seventh time since 2010. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

MTSU student Pinkie Fossett, left, relaxes while American Red Cross workers pamper her during her blood donation Monday, Nov. 18, at MTSU’s 2019 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive in the Campus Recreation Center. Fossett and 396 other successful MTSU community donors helped the university win the friendly competition for the third straight year and the seventh time since 2010. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

An MTSU student volunteer, right, shows off the 2019 "Blood Battle" T-shirt to a blood donor Monday, Nov. 18, during the university's annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive competition with Western Kentucky University. 397 MTSU community donors helped the university win the friendly contest for the third straight year and the seventh time since 2010. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)

An MTSU student volunteer, right, shows off the 2019 “Blood Battle” T-shirt to a blood donor Monday, Nov. 18, during the university’s annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive competition with Western Kentucky University. 397 MTSU community donors helped the university win the friendly contest for the third straight year and the seventh time since 2010. (MTSU photo by James Cessna)


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