Penn State-Michigan State Blood Donor Challenge kicks off Nov. 1

University Park, Pa. -- For the 17th year, Penn State and Michigan State will extend their rivalry off the football field as they compete in the annual Blood Donor Challenge. This friendly competition pits the two schools against one another in a bid to help their respective communities. This year's challenge begins on Monday, Nov. 1, and continues through Thursday. Nov. 18.

For having won last year's challenge, Penn State holds the trophy that symbolizes life-saving efforts through blood donations. Penn State claimed victory by 213 units of blood, totaling 2,127 to Michigan State's 1,914. The tally now stands at Penn State with 11 wins to Michigan State's 5.

With Penn State having captured the last four consecutive challenges, the American Red Cross is calling all blood donors to help Penn State remain victorious over Michigan State again this year.

"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 American Red Cross is no exception," said Penn State President Graham Spanier.

Annually, the two schools compete for the largest number of blood donations during the designated span of the competition. However, the demand for blood is constant and ongoing, and during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays the need remains steady even when donor turnout decreases. The donor challenge is held at a time to increase blood supplies in advance of the holiday season, with the hope that the enthusiasm surrounding the competition also will raise awareness and reinforce the importance of blood donation. In 2009, this competition provided both the Greater Alleghenies Region and the Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross with 4,041 units of blood.

"While area patients are the real winners of this challenge, let's make sure Penn State wins an even dozen and beats Michigan State for the fifth consecutive year," said John Hagins, CEO of the Greater Alleghenies Blood Region of the American Red Cross.

All presenting donors will receive a 2010 Blood Donor Challenge T-shirt, and pizza will be served at the canteen at every drive. In addition, there will be a donor appreciation drawing for all presenting donors, including prizes of LionCash, merchandise and gift certificates from area businesses.

Student groups will vie for the Blood Cup, co-sponsored by the Student Red Cross Club and Alpha Epsilon Delta, to encourage student participation in the Blood Donor Challenge. Student organizations compete in one of three divisions: Small Group, for groups comprised of fewer than 50 members; Large Group, for those of 50 members or more; and Social Greek Group, for groups registered with the Office of Greek Life. The group in each category with the highest percentage of their membership successfully donating during the challenge will be named the winner.

Participating group members are encouraged to recruit friends and those outside their organization to sign the Blood Cup book for their organization at the canteen. All recruiting must be done prior to the blood drive; no recruiting is permitted inside a blood drive location. Blood Cup winners will be announced in The Daily Collegian on Friday, Nov. 19, the day after the challenge ends, and will receive recognition at the Challenge Blood Cup banquet on Dec. 6 in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center. Last year’s winners were the Biomedical Engineering Society, Penn State Blue Band and Tau Phi Delta.

Blood donation appointments are strongly recommended, as donors with appointments are given first priority. Appointments can be made at http://www.psuredcross.org online. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days.

Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements. Those with specific eligibility questions should call the Red Cross Donor Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276. All presenting donors should bring their Red Cross donor cards or other forms of identification to the blood drive.

To volunteer, visit http://volunteer.psu.edu/redcross online.

Scheduled Blood Donor Challenge sites:

Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Hintz Family Alumni Center
Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Pasquerilla Spiritual Center
Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Kunkle Lounge
Nov. 8, 1-7 p.m., East Halls, 124 Findlay Commons
Nov. 9, 1-7 p.m., East Halls, 124 Findlay Commons
Nov. 9, 1-7 p.m., North Halls, Warnock Commons
Nov. 10, 1-7 p.m., Pollock Rec. Room
Nov. 10, 1-7 p.m., West Halls, Waring Commons
Nov. 11, 1-7 p.m., Brill Hall, Eastview Terrace
Nov. 11, 1-7 p.m., South Halls, Redifer Commons
Nov. 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 14, noon-5 p.m., Pollock Rec. Room
Nov. 15, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall
Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., HUB Alumni Hall

Last Updated November 17, 2010