Annual Penn State/Michigan State blood donor challenge set for Oct. 31

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State will continue its friendly rivalry with Michigan State off the football field in the 18th annual Penn State vs. Michigan State Blood Donor Challenge and the Alpha Epsilon Delta Blood Cup. The Challenge begins Oct. 31 and continues through Nov. 17.

This year’s theme is “Pride is in Our Veins.” The two schools will compete for the largest number of blood donations during the three-week span. The blood collected throughout the Challenge is necessary to increase the blood inventories in both regions before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Historically, this is a time when the number of donors decreases while patients’ need remain constant.

Last year, Penn State won the Challenge by 11 pints -- 11 donors. Together, Penn State and Michigan State provided the Greater Alleghenies Region and the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross with 4,027 units of blood. Penn State leads the overall series 12-5.

“It would be an honor for Penn State to keep the trophy once again,” said Penn State President Graham Spanier. “Penn State’s tradition of public service extends to its students, faculty and staff supporting others during times of need, and blood donation to the Red Cross is no exception.”

The Alpha Epsilon Delta Blood Cup, sponsored by Penn State’s Premedical Honor Society, is the competition among Penn State student organizations designed to encourage students to donate for the Challenge. Organizations compete in one of three divisions: small group, for groups of fewer than 50 members; large group, for groups of 50 members or more; or social Greek group, for groups registered with the office of Greek Life. The group in each category with the highest percentage of its membership successfully donating will be awarded the Blood Cup. Last year’s Blood Cup winners were Penn State Women’s Softball, the Penn State Blue Band and Alpha Phi sorority.

The entire Penn State community is invited and encouraged to donate during the Challenge. Each donation will help Penn State try to win its fifth consecutive Challenge over Michigan State. The Challenge not only helps to increase blood inventories but helps to increase awareness about the importance of regular blood donation.

Eligible donors may donate up to six times per year. However, at Penn State the average donor gives only 1.7 times per year. A red blood cell product has a shelf life of only 42 days, but a donor must wait at least 56 days between donations. There is a continuing need for donors to set forward to help meet the need.

This year’s Challenge offers donor recognition items for those who come out to donate. All presenting donors will receive a 2011 Blood Donor Challenge T-shirt and be entered into a donor appreciation raffle. Grand prizes for the Challenge raffle include a Nintendo Wii with Mario Kart, HP mini 10.1” net book, Acer Iconica tablet, Vizio 26” flat screen TV, Sony Cyber-Shot digital camera, a bus trip to New York City with a gift card to, Visa gift cards, LionCash, and more. All blood drives will have pizza at the canteen.


Blood donation appointments during the Challenge are strongly recommended and can be made at  To volunteer at any blood drive, visit

Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood. Donors who are 18 and younger also must meet specific height and weight requirements. Those with specific eligibility questions should call the Red Cross Donor Client Support Center at 866-236-3276. All presenting donors should bring their Red Cross donor cards or other forms of identification to the blood drive.

During this academic year, all donors including all donors during the Challenge can enter the Student Red Cross Club’s frequent donor program. The Give Life…For Life Donor Rewards Program encourages donors to return to donate more than one time per year. Those who donate two, three, or four times during this school year on campus will be entered to win prizes based on the number of times the donor gives blood. This program is open to all presenting donors who give blood on campus including faculty and staff. This year’s rewards include an iPad 2, Sony 14.1 megapixel camera, North Face backpack, LionCash and much more.


Last Updated October 31, 2011