Ninth-annual Blood Drive Battle between WKU and MTSU concludes

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are taking on the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders this week, but not on the football field or the volleyball court.

Today was the final day to donate blood on Western Kentucky’s campus in the ninth-annual “Blood Battle” between the two rival colleges.

Despite the rivalry and competition between the schools, the true winners of this competition are the people receiving the blood.

This is something Clif Redish, the Regional Donor Services Executive of the Tennessee Region, says is a vital part of this friendly competition.

“I think sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there really are patients in hospital beds that need this,” said Redish. “Ultimately, if the blood is not on the shelf, then they are not going to have favorable outcomes. Ultimately, it is giving back. It is giving back through the community and the Red Cross. We just appreciate the folks coming out to donate.”

Redish says that nearly 63% of Americans, on average, are eligible to donate blood, but only about 3% actually donate.

“We need blood on the shelves every day. We talk about urgent needs for cancer patients for burn patients, those who may have traffic accidents, those kinds of things. It is the blood on the shelf that is ultimately going to help those people at that time,” said Redish.

WKU faculty member, Ashley Orehek, donated blood on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

She says, regardless of the competition between the schools, donating their time and blood is a great way for people to show support for those who need it the most.

“I have not donated that much because I had different restrictions preventing me from donating blood, but now that I figured out what I need to do, I am now getting to that point where I can donate regularly,” said Orehek. “It is an easy way to give back and help out. I also like it because I do not have to donate money as often. I would rather donate my blood than donate my money.”

Each donor received a free T-Shirt and a $20 Amazon gift card.

The winner of the Blood Battle will be announced when the Hilltoppers travel down to Murfreesboro to take on the Blue Raiders on Saturday, Oct. 15.

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