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Area residents are winners in MTSU-WKU ‘blood battle’

Nearly 2,500 people will have another year of living, laughing and maybe even cheering at an MTSU football game, thanks to a “blood battle” that collected the lifesaving gift from more than 800 supporters at two universities.

University blood-drive leaders pose with the annual “Blood Battle” challenge trophy on MTSU’s Jones Field Saturday, Oct. 15, during the announcement of the winner of the 2016 competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky University. From left are Gloria Bonner, assistant to the president in MTSU’s Office of Community Engagement; Olivia Higgins, WKU athletics marketing assistant; Todd Stewart, WKU director of athletics; Chris Massaro, MTSU director of athletics; and Diane Turnham, MTSU associate athletic director. WKU won the competition for the second time since 2010 with 414 successful donors to MTSU’s 404 donors. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

University blood-drive leaders pose with the annual “Blood Battle” challenge trophy on MTSU’s Jones Field Saturday, Oct. 15, during the announcement of the winner of the 2016 competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky University. From left are Gloria Bonner, assistant to the president in MTSU’s Office of Community Engagement; Olivia Higgins, WKU athletics marketing assistant; Todd Stewart, WKU director of athletics; Chris Massaro, MTSU director of athletics; and Diane Turnham, MTSU associate athletic director. WKU won the competition for the second time since 2010 with 414 successful donors to MTSU’s 404 donors. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Western Kentucky University won the competition, now in its sixth year, for the second time with 414 successful donors.

MTSU’s Oct. 3-5 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” campaign boasted 404 successful donors, officials said in announcing the results at the university’s Oct. 15 homecoming football game against WKU at Floyd Stadium.

WKU, which conducted its blood drive Oct. 10-12, also took home the hard-fought 44-43 football game win in double overtime.

Since each pint of donated blood can help up to three people, the 818 new units of blood can potentially save the lives of 2,454 people via red cells, platelets and plasma.

“The 2016 Blood Battle between MTSU and WKU was a great one!” said Patti Wright, senior representative for the American Red Cross’ Tennessee Valley Region.

“Thank you again to all who supported our communities with their time, energy and blood. The competition was extremely close this year: we had a difference of only 10 pints of blood collected between the two schools, and one university brought in more donors but the other school collected more blood. What an awesome job by both schools and their supporters!”

Hundreds of university community members showed up to donate life-saving blood products for their neighbors at both sites, according to Red Cross officials.

2016 Bleed Blue square graphic“We’ve had the opportunity each year since 2010 to share a little of ourselves — as MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and supporters — by donating our time and our blood to the American Red Cross,” said MTSU Associate Athletic Director Diane Turnham, a longtime donor and an organizer for the annual community blood drive.

“We’re honored to give back to the community that gives so much to us here at MTSU. This annual blood drive is one of the best ways we know to be ‘True Blue,’ and we’ll always ‘Bleed Blue’ for MTSU.”

MTSU students, staffers and supporters have now donated 3,636 pints of blood since the friendly competition began — the equivalent of almost 455 gallons of blood and more than 10,900 lives saved in six years’ time.

The new combined MTSU-WKU totals show the universities helping more than 21,000 people across the Tennessee Valley Region.

MTSU has won four of the competitions and conducted its own successful drive in 2013 when Western wasn’t yet part of Conference USA. WKU also won the 2012 “blood battle.”

MTSU-area donors who were unable to join this year’s competition can still “Bleed Blue” Tuesday, Nov. 8, at a special blood drive sponsored by MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

The event, set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8 in Cantrell Hall inside the Tom Jackson Building, 628 Alma Mater Drive, will be a tribute to all veterans in honor of the annual U.S. observance of Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11.

Donors can make use of the Red Cross’s new scheduling technology by typing “MTSU19” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box at http://redcrossblood.org to make a Nov. 8 appointment or using the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available at http://ow.ly/S39Ke.

On donation day, those MTSU donors can save more time by completing the new “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass on a desktop or laptop computer.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)


MTSU’s ‘Bleed Blue’ donors may help hurricane-affected areas, too

Oct. 7, 2016

The MTSU community poured their hearts into this year’s three-day “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive, turning out by the hundreds as students, faculty, staff, neighbors and supporters donated blood and volunteered to help save lives across Middle Tennessee.

MTSU community members pass a sign Oct. 5 at the front entrance of the Student Health, Recreation and Wellness Center advertising the university's annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive. The three-day event drew hundreds of potential donors and volunteers to help the community. The winner of the blood-collection competition with Western Kentucky University will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU's homecoming game against WKU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU community members pass a sign Oct. 5 at the front entrance of the Student Health, Recreation and Wellness Center advertising the university’s annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive. The three-day event drew hundreds of potential donors and volunteers to help the community. The winner of the blood-collection competition with Western Kentucky University will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU’s homecoming game against WKU. (MTSU photos by J. Intintoli)

Now, while they wait for Saturday, Oct. 15, and the announcement of the “blood battle” winner at Floyd Stadium during the Blue Raiders’ homecoming game against Western Kentucky University, some of their donations may be headed to the Atlantic Coast, too.

MTSU is a four-time champion in the six-year blood-drive competition with longtime athletic rival WKU. The drive is the region’s largest each year, Red Cross officials say.

“I’m happy to extend a big thank-you to everyone at MTSU who was involved with the drive this week,” said Patti Wright, donor resources development representative for the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Region Blood Services office in Nashville. “There was a wonderful outpouring of support from across the university community.

“This comes at a great time for us because we’re facing some challenges with blood collections this time of year anyway, plus we’ve also just received emails about Hurricane Matthew. The centers in that area are afraid they might not be able to collect blood, so we may have to send some of ours down there to help them out.”

Diane Turnham

Diane Turnham

MTSU Associate Athletic Director Diane Turnham, a longtime donor and an organizer for the annual community blood drive, also expressed her appreciation for those who offered their time and their blood.

“We are so grateful to all our MTSU faculty, staff, students and supporters for coming out in such great fashion to donate blood and help save lives in our community,” Turnham said.

2016 Bleed Blue square graphic“We all are ever indebted to them for their help, and we hope they’ll come out to homecoming on the 15th and enjoy the game and see who won our blood-drive competition!”

If donors were deferred or couldn’t make it to MTSU for the 2016 “Bleed Blue” blood drive, organizers are encouraging them to come back to campus Tuesday, Nov. 8, for a special blood drive sponsored by MTSU’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

The event, set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 8 in Cantrell Hall inside the Tom Jackson Building, 628 Alma Mater Drive, will be a tribute to all veterans in honor of the annual U.S. observance of Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 11.

Donors can once again make use of the Red Cross’s new technology by typing “MTSU19” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box at http://redcrossblood.org to make a Nov. 8 appointment or using the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available at http://ow.ly/S39Ke.

On donation day, those MTSU donors can save even more time by completing the new “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass on a desktop or laptop computer.

MTSU students, staffers and supporters have donated 3,232 pints of blood since the annual competition with WKU began in 2010 — the equivalent of 404 gallons of blood and nearly 9,700 lives saved in six years’ time.

WKU is conducting its three-day drive next week on the Bowling Green, Kentucky, campus. Both MTSU and WKU aim to collect 700 more pints during their three-day drives.

The blood drive is a friendly competition between the longtime football rivals. MTSU conducted its own successful drive in 2013 when Western wasn’t yet part of Conference USA.

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

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

American Red Cross phlebotomist Sashay Turner, left, prepares MTSU student volunteer Joel Bigelow of Murfreesboro for a blood donation Oct. 5 during the university’s annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive. Bigelow, a senior majoring in exercise science in the Department of Health and Human Performance, was one of hundreds of potential donors and volunteers who came to MTSU for the three-day blood drive. The winner of the blood-collection competition with Western Kentucky University will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU's homecoming game against WKU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

American Red Cross phlebotomist Sashay Turner, left, prepares MTSU student volunteer Joel Bigelow of Murfreesboro for a blood donation Oct. 5 during the university’s annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive. Bigelow, a senior majoring in exercise science in the Department of Health and Human Performance, was one of hundreds of potential donors and volunteers who came to MTSU for the three-day blood drive.

MTSU junior Haley Laney of Murfreesboro proudly displays her American Red Cross student volunteer badge Oct. 5 during the university’s annual "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" blood drive. Laney, an organizational communication major and member of the MTSU Cheerleading Team, helped with paperwork, offered snacks and drinks and even helped pick up and deliver MT Dining-donated pizzas for blood donors at the Student Health, Recreation and Wellness Center. The winner of the blood-collection competition with Western Kentucky University will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU's homecoming game against WKU. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU junior Haley Laney of Murfreesboro proudly displays her American Red Cross student volunteer badge Oct. 5 during the university’s annual “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” blood drive. Laney, an organizational communication major and member of the MTSU Cheerleading Team, helped with paperwork, offered snacks and drinks and even helped pick up and deliver MT Dining-donated pizzas for blood donors at the Student Health, Recreation and Wellness Center.

 


MTSU is ‘Bleeding Blue’ to save lives, beat WKU at blood drive

Oct. 4, 2016

MTSU supporters across campus and across the community are turning out in droves to donate blood, save lives and help the university “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” again this year.

2016 Bleed Blue square graphicMTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and neighbors can make an appointment between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. today, Oct. 4, and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, to schedule a convenient time to donate blood at the university’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

Each donor today, Oct. 4, will receive two free tickets to MTSU’s Oct. 15 homecoming game with the Blue Raiders facing Western Kentucky’s Hilltoppers.

Monday’s donors kept American Red Cross staffers busy all day processing and collecting the lifesaving pints of blood.

Donors can still go online at  or use the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available here, to make a donation appointment for today or Wednesday.

MTSU donors can speed up the process on donation day by answering the new “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire on a desktop or laptop computer at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass before coming to the Recreation Center.

The timesaving new website eliminates sitting in line filling out the paper form required of all donors. Each donor should answer the questions on the day of his appointment, then bring a printed or emailed confirmation of the completed questionnaire to show to Red Cross officials. The next step is rolling up your sleeves and relaxing for a few moments while donating blood!

“It’s an opportunity for all of us on the MTSU campus to give back to the community at large and to also give back to our own community here on campus,” said Ray Wiley, assistant director of campus recreation at MTSU and a 30-year volunteer for the American Red Cross.

Click on the Red Cross button to find the new blood donation app.

Click on the Red Cross button to find the new blood donation app.

“It’s an opportunity for staff, faculty and students to work together for a common goal.”

MTSU students, staffers and supporters have donated 3,232 pints of blood since the annual competition began in 2010 — the equivalent of 404 gallons of blood and, because each unit of blood can save up to three lives, nearly 9,700 lives saved in six years’ time.

This year’s MTSU goal is collecting 700 more pints during the three-day drive, and organizers say it’s a challenge the university community will meet.

The blood drive is a friendly competition between longtime football rivals MTSU and Western Kentucky University. MTSU has won four of the competitions and conducted its own successful drive in 2013 when Western wasn’t yet part of Conference USA.

Patricia Wright, left, of the American Red Cross and Ray Wiley, associate director of campus recreation at MTSU, are two of the organizers of the 2016 "Bleed Blue, Beat WKU" campus and community blood drive set Oct. 3-5. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

Patricia Wright, left, of the American Red Cross and Ray Wiley, associate director of campus recreation at MTSU, are two of the organizers of the 2016 “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” campus and community blood drive set Oct. 3-5. (MTSU file photo by News and Media Relations)

“When somebody donates blood and they finish and they get off that bed, they’re feeling good, because they know that they’ve saved up to three lives with that pint of blood they’ve donated,” said Patti Wright, donor resources development representative for the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Region Blood Services office in Nashville.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to give people a chance to save lives. We don’t get a chance to do that very often.”

A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap. All MTSU community donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center.

Western Kentucky will conduct its blood drive the following week. The winner will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU’s homecoming football game against the Hilltoppers.

Red Cross officials cautioned “Bleed Blue” donors to avoid energy drinks for a few days before their appointments because of new health restrictions on heart rates that could prevent donations.

Participants can find other helpful tips to make their blood donations successful at http://ow.ly/AiN07.

Donors who use the new Red Cross Blood app will also be able to schedule appointment reminders, find more blood drives and track their blood donations, organizers said.

Walk-in “Bleed Blue” donors will still be welcome through Oct. 5, but organizers are encouraging MTSU donors to make appointments now to get the most convenient times and speedier processing on their donation day.

For directions to the Rec Center, visit www.mtsu.edu/camprec/directions.php. For updates and more information about the blood drive, visit www.mtsunews.com/bleed-blue-2016 and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtag #BleedBlueMTSU.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro, right, gets a little help from Stefanie Stalmasek of the American Red Cross as he donates blood at the 2015 "Bleed Blue" blood drive inside the Campus Recreation Center. The annual competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky returns Oct. 3-5, and the winner will be announced Oct. 15. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

MTSU Athletic Director Chris Massaro, right, gets a little help from Stefanie Stalmasek of the American Red Cross as he donates blood at the 2015 “Bleed Blue” blood drive inside the Campus Recreation Center. The annual competition between MTSU and Western Kentucky returns Oct. 3-5, and the winner will be announced Oct. 15. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)


New app, website will help MTSU ‘Bleed Blue’ faster at Oct. 3-5 blood drive

Sept. 21, 2016

MTSU’s ready to “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” again Oct. 3-5 to help save lives in the community, and this time the American Red Cross’s new technology is making it even easier for the four-time blood-drive competition champs to donate.

MTSU students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and neighbors can make an appointment online today to donate blood between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 3-5, at the university’s Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

Users can type “MTSU19” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box at http://redcrossblood.org or use the new “American Red Cross Blood” app, available here.

On donation day, MTSU donors can use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the new “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

The timesaving new website eliminates sitting in line filling out the paper form required of all donors. Each donor will only need to answer the questions on the day of her appointment, then bring a printed or emailed confirmation of the completed questionnaire to show to Red Cross officials. The next step is rolling up your sleeves and relaxing for a few moments while donating blood!

“It’s an opportunity for all of us on the MTSU campus to give back to the community at large and to also give back to our own community here on campus,” said Ray Wiley, assistant director of campus recreation at MTSU and a 30-year volunteer for the American Red Cross.

“It’s an opportunity for staff, faculty and students to work together for a common goal.”

MTSU students, staffers and supporters have donated 3,232 pints of blood since the annual competition began in 2010 — the equivalent of 404 gallons of blood and nearly 9,700 lives saved in six years’ time. This year’s goal is collecting 700 more pints during the three-day drive, and organizers say it’s a challenge the university community will meet.

The blood drive is a friendly competition between longtime football rivals MTSU and Western Kentucky University. MTSU has won four of the competitions and conducted its own successful drive in 2013 when Western wasn’t yet part of Conference USA.

“When somebody donates blood and they finish and they get off that bed, they’re feeling good, because they know that they’ve saved up to three lives with that pint of blood they’ve donated,” said Patti Wright, donor resources development representative for the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Region Blood Services office in Nashville.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to give people a chance to save lives. We don’t get a chance to do that very often.”

A searchable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap, and all MTSU community donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center.

Western Kentucky will conduct its blood drive the following week. The winner will be announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during MTSU’s homecoming football game against the Hilltoppers.

Red Cross officials cautioned “Bleed Blue” donors to avoid energy drinks for a few days before their appointments because of new health restrictions on heart rates that could prevent donations. Participants can find other helpful tips to make their blood donations successful at http://ow.ly/AiN07.

Donors who use the new Red Cross Blood app will also be able to schedule appointment reminders, find more blood drives and track their blood donations, organizers said.

Walk-in “Bleed Blue” donors will still be welcome Oct. 3-5, but organizers are encouraging MTSU donors to make appointments now to get the most convenient times and speedier processing on donation day.

For directions to the Rec Center, visit www.mtsu.edu/camprec/directions.php. For updates and more information about the blood drive, visit www.mtsunews.com/bleed-blue-2016 and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtag #BleedBlueMTSU.

— Gina E. Fann (gina.fann@mtsu.edu)

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