WKU and MTSU have their annual 100 Miles of Hope blood drive competition

Western Kentucky University is competing with Middle Tennessee State University off the field with their annual blood drive.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 6:17 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University is competing with Middle Tennessee State University off the field with its annual blood drive.

The 100 Miles of Hope blood drive supports the American Red Cross. WKU President Dr. Timothy Caboni says the university has been supporting the American Red Cross for over 30 years.

“We are trying to get as many folks not just from the campus community, but from Bowling Green and Warren County to join us on the hill,” Caboni said. “Come give blood, and help us beat MTSU.”

Aside from some friendly competition from the colleges, donating blood could contribute to lessening the blood shortage seen in recent years.

According to the American Red Cross, there has been a 10 percent decline in blood donation since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

President Caboni acknowledged the shortage, encouraging people to consider giving blood.

“If you haven’t given blood recently, come onto campus, do a good thing for WKU, but do a good thing for the whole community,” Caboni said. “We desperately need blood for our nation.”

WKU Public Health professor Grace Larky has been helping out with the event for many years and is ready to see the school win after a 10-year losing streak.

“It’s been wonderful, but we want to win as well. It’s a friendly competition, but we want to win,” Larky said. “It’s been 10 years since the WKU won this award and we have given it our all.”

She wants people who feel hesitant about donating blood to not to worry.

“People are afraid of needles, but we are here to support you,” she said. “It takes very little time to get it done and you’ll be surprised to see [the] short period of time that you’re going to be here.”

WKU Freshman Evan Dana decided to contribute today although he referred to himself as someone who is not a needle guy.

“It was super easy,” Dana said. “I mean they walked me through right when I got in the door. It’s nothing stressful at all.”

His advice to those interested in donating is to make sure to eat a hearty breakfast before giving blood.

The final day of the blood drive will be on Sept. 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free parking will be available on the South Lawn.

Those who donate are eligible to receive a 100 Miles of Hope T-shirt, $20 Amazon gift cards, free haircut coupons, and can enter a raffle to win a Nascar ticket.

A football game between the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers will follow on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.