ANN ARBOR, Mich. (Oct. 23, 2019) – The community is invited to roll up a sleeve and give blood with the American Red Cross during the 38th annual Blood Battle between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University Oct. 29 through Nov. 27. Nearly 20 blood drives will be held on the Ann Arbor campus during the three-week event.
During the Blood Battle, the archrivals will go head-to-head to see which university’s supporters can bring in the most blood donations. This year each school seeks a goal of 2,300 donations, for a total of 4,800 blood donations combined. Blood Battle has been held the first weeks of November leading up to the day the schools face off on the football field every year since 1981, generating thousands of donations for patients in need of blood.
Be a Hero at the Big House, the largest blood drive on the Ann Arbor campus, falls midway through the Blood Battle Sunday, Nov. 10, from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., high above the field in the Jack Roth Stadium Club.
“Michigan won the Blood Battle last year by just 162 donations,” said Erin Burns, recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We are eager to defeat the Buckeyes this year and bring the trophy back to Michigan.” So far, Michigan has won 21 Blood Battles and Ohio State has won 15, with one year resulting in a tie. Blood Battle blood drives generate thousands of blood donations through the Red Cross every year to help hospital patients.
“The competition motivates fans to donate blood at an important time,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager for the Red Cross Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region. “It provides a needed boost for the blood supply as Thanksgiving approaches. During the busy holiday season, we tend to see a decline in donations, but it’s important to remember that patients still need blood regardless of holiday or season.”
Those who come to donate at any blood drive in the Southeastern Michigan Region during Blood Battle can vote for their school. Those who come to donate on campus at the University of Michigan will also receive a Blood Battle T-shirt, while supplies last, and discount coupons from Bruegger’s Bagels in Ann Arbo.
“No matter who wins the Blood Battle, hospital patients will be able to receive the potentially lifesaving blood transfusions they need thanks to those who donate,” Kulman said.
Results of this year’s Blood Battle will be announced in Ann Arbor during the Nov. 30 game at the Big House.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, sponsor code: GoBlue, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.