15th Annual Big Blue Slam Takes Place Next Week Jan. 20, 2023

Jan. 23-27 Competition Pits UK Fans vs. Florida Fans to Boost Winter Blood Supply

Big Blue Slam 2023 is Jan. 23-27.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Big Blue Slam, Kentucky Blood Center’s annual competition with LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Florida to shore up the winter blood supply, is next week, Jan. 23-27, at all KBC donor centers and mobile drives.

The 15th annual competition calls on UK fans to use their enthusiasm for the Wildcats to save local lives in Kentucky. The friendly rivalry with the Gators is an important week to stock the blood shelves in the winter months when weather and illness can hinder collections. Lower donor turnout during the holiday season has put an additional strain on an already fragile blood supply.

Donors can give at any of KBC’s eight donor centers or any mobile drive throughout the week. KBC donor centers, listed below, are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Big Blue Slam. Mobile drives can be found at kybloodcenter.org/events/big-blue-slam-2023.

“Kentucky fans underscored their passion for all things Kentucky in our Big Blue Crush victory over Tennessee in November, but we need you again, Big Blue Nation,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations at KBC. “The winter and holiday season is always a difficult time on blood centers, but this one has been especially tough. We experienced lower donor turnout during the holiday season and were in a big hole. Donors have responded the last few weeks, but we still have some work to do. Let’s continue to dig out of the hole next week and beat our rivals in Florida.”

All donors will receive a 'Basketball School' shirt and be entered to win two tickets to the UK-Florida game on Feb. 4 at Big Blue Slam.

As a thank you for saving lives, all donors who give blood will receive a special-edition “Basketball School” long-sleeve shirt and be entered to win two lower-level tickets to the UK-Florida men’s basketball game in Rupp Arena on Feb. 4. A “Football School” long-sleeve shirt was provided to donors for Big Blue Crush in November.

Kentucky leads the friendly rivalry with Florida 8-6 after winning the last two competitions. KBC is seeking the first three-year winning streak in the series.

Donations with KBC go directly towards saving local patients in Kentucky. Blood given by donors helps patients battling cancer, provides life support for traumas, aids in surgeries and so much more.

KBC provides lifesaving blood to more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky, but the nonprofit organization has struggled to meet local need for nearly three years from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at kybloodcenter.org.

Donors can schedule an appointment at kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Slam. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.