Current thank you item: Donating is My Favorite Elf T-shirt
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Donors from both states stepped up Tuesday and improved upon Monday’s Big Blue Crush kickoff, but the 36th annual blood battle is anyone’s game through the first two days of competition. Kentucky, with 844 donors thus far, leads Tennessee’s 784 count.
Kentucky Blood Center donors topped Monday’s showing as 434 Kentuckians rolled up their sleeves across the state at KBC donor centers and mobile blood drives. The Volunteers were just a hair behind with 425.
“With few exceptions, Big Blue Crush always comes down to the wire” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations of KBC. “It’s part of what makes this tradition so special. Every donor matters in a tight battle like this. You could be the difference in retaining the Crush trophy, but more importantly, you will be the difference in someone’s life if you come out and donate blood this week.”
Every donation this week is critical for local hospitals, which face challenges over holidays. Thanksgiving holiday week – when donations historically decrease – is no exception because the need for blood never stops.
That uphill battle is the inspiration for the annual border-state rivalry. Kentucky Blood Center and MEDIC Regional Blood Center began the competition in 1988 to ensure blood is available for Thanksgiving week.
KBC’s eight donor centers (Lexington, Louisville, Corbin, Frankfort, Pikeville and Somerset) are open the rest of the weekday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mobile drives are also open to the public in various locations across the state through Friday.
Appointments are available at all locations. Donors can view donation options and make their appointment by visiting kybloodcenter.org/events/big-blue-crush-2023, or by calling 800.775.2522. All donors will receive the latest edition of the always-popular Big Blue Crush T-shirt. Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Crush. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.
Kentucky leads the series with Tennessee 20-14-1, including victories in three of the last four events and 11 of the last 13.
KBC, the exclusive blood provider for UK Healthcare, Baptist Health System, Appalachian Regional Healthcare, among others, serves more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky. One in four people will need a blood transfusion in their lifetime.
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.
Eight donor centers in six cities
Serving more than 90 counties
Find a drive near you
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.