Big Ten Challenge Offers Big Help to Patients in Need

January 19, 2011


MSU, UM Continue Annual Face-off


Lansing, MI– The Big Ten schools enjoy friendly rivalries and competing on the playing field, but during the American Red Cross Big Ten Blood Challenge, they will share a common cause.  The Red Cross and the Big Ten Network have teamed up to help encourage Big Ten school students, staff, faculty and alumni donate more than 8,300 pints of blood through the Red Cross during the six-week event.

“Our partnership with the Big Ten universities and the Big Ten Network will help many patients in need in Michigan and across the country,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “Having the Spartans and the Wolverines faceoff during the Big Ten Challenge is a great way to play off that rivalry while helping to save lives.”

The Big Ten Challenge is a national partnership between schools in the Big Ten Conference and American Red Cross Blood Services. The Big Ten Challenge runs January 18 to February 25, but the face-off between MSU and University of Michigan runs January 24 to February 24. The goal of the challenge and the face-off is to help boost blood supplies during challenging winter months, when inclement weather and cold and flu season traditionally impact donors’ availability to give.

“This blood drive challenge fosters the Big Ten’s tradition of dedication, commitment and community and gives alumni and fans a special opportunity to use their passion for the greater good,” said Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman. “We’re proud to be a part of it.”