Tuesday, January 25, 2022

U competes in blood drive

November 7, 2000

MSU kicks off a competition against Pennsylvania State University today in which the goal is to gain not points, but pints - of blood.

The sixth annual MSU/Penn State Blood Donor Challenge begins at Gilchrist and Akers Halls at 1 p.m. The program, which is sponsored by the American Red Cross, will include 14 blood drives at the residence halls.

The contest ends Nov. 17, just one day before the two schools face off on the football field in State College, Pa. The winner of the challenge will be announced at halftime during the game.

Ann Kammerer, a communications specialist for American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services, said the program is significant because it gets the MSU community involved in a good cause.

“It’s a great way to get alumni and Spartan fans involved,” she said. “It adds a little bit of a fun element to the whole blood drive.

“It kind of adds the spirit of competition.”

Leslie Johnson, a donor recruitment supervisor, said MSU won the contest last year for the first time by only 14 pints of blood.

“I think that this year it will be another close win, but I think we’ll win,” she said. “It would be nice to beat them on the field, but here’s a chance to show Penn State what we are made of.”

Marketing senior Jerome Colt, who’s in charge of promotional and publicity for the program, said he hopes this year’s program will produce enough blood not only to beat Penn State, but also to aid a blood shortage that has affected the United States throughout the last four months.

“This year, our main goal is to collect 1,280 pints,” he said. “Over 4 million people a year need blood, and the only way to get blood is donors.”

Colt said it’s ideal for the Red Cross to maintain a three-day supply of blood, but they have only about a two-days supply currently.

Stacy Bienkowski, president of the American Red Cross Club at MSU, said that for every pint donated, four lives are potentially saved.

Members of the American Red Cross Club plan to volunteer at many of the drives, and they have been working hard to recruit donors.

Bienkowski, a sociology senior, said she hopes the competitive atmosphere of the challenge combined with informing people about the blood shortage will make the event a success.

“I think when people have a challenge, they are more apt to donate,” she said.

“It’s a huge thing right now because we really, really need the blood more than ever.”

The blood drive sites are located in several accessible locations on campus. They are open to anyone wishing to participate.

For more information, call (877) 881-4678.

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