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Battle of the Badges Blood Challenge-Asheville


February 17, 2014



Give blood, honor local first responders and fallen Asheville police officer


[Asheville, NC, February 17, 2014] – Give the gift of life with the American Red Cross and at the same time, honor the men and women who keep our community healthy and safe at Asheville’s 4th annual Battle of the Badges blood drive challenge. Members of the Asheville community are asked to roll up their sleeves February 26, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC, 28801.


The Battle of the Badges blood drive is a friendly competition to encourage community members to join local heroes—and perform a heroic duty of their own. All presenting donors can cast their vote for their favorite local first responder agency to help decide the winner of this year’s competition. Participating agencies are: Asheville Fire Department, Asheville Police Department, Buncombe County EMS, Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol.


This year’s blood challenge is in memory of fallen Asheville Senior Police Officer Rob Bingaman, who died in October 2013. Officer Bingaman was killed in a single vehicle crash when his patrol car went off of the Jeff Bowen Bridge on I-240, onto Riverside Drive below. Officer Bingaman was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He served with the Asheville Police Department for six years and was assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Unit.


The 2014 Battle of the Badges couldn’t come at a better time to help the Red Cross fulfill its mission of collecting lifesaving blood. Severe winter weather forced the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region to cancel all of its blood drives February 12 and 13, along with several on February 14, resulting in more than 3,100 uncollected blood and platelet donations.  Fifteen blood drives were cancelled just in the Asheville area, resulting in a shortfall of about 800 units.


“EMS, fire and law enforcement know first-hand how important it is to have blood readily available during emergencies, and Battle of the Badges will help us recover from a major shortfall,” said Steve Maness, CEO of the Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “Severe winter weather since the beginning of the year has forced the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives from coast to coast, but regardless of the weather, patients are counting on blood products to be there when needed.”


In addition to voting for their favorite first responder agency, those who come out to donate will receive a free T-shirt and be entered to win a $1,500 gift card to use toward a vacation getaway. Blood donors will also have the opportunity to provide a financial donation to the 11th Annual Heroes for the Red Cross campaign with the Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter.  Funds raised support local disaster and preparedness efforts.


Schedule an appointment to donate at the Battle of the Badges blood drive today. Visit and enter sponsor code AVLBattleofBadges or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission in North Carolina, weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 


About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at