KBC Claims Early Crush Lead with Strong Day 1 Turnout Nov. 13, 2023

University of Kentucky Students, Staff and Faculty Power First-Day Charge

2023 Big Blue Crush day one results: Kentucky 410, Tennessee 359

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky is off to a fast start in the annual Big Blue Crush with an early 410-359 lead.

Kentuckians packed donor centers and mobile drives on day one to kick off the yearly competition vs. Knoxville’s MEDIC Regional Blood Center. Led by more than 100 students, staff and faculty who gave blood on the University of Kentucky campus on Monday, Kentucky Blood Center heads into day two of the five-day competition with a modest advantage.

“We’re off to a great start, but we know this is a four-quarter game,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations of KBC. “Tennessee historically puts up bigger numbers as the week carries on, so we’ll need a consistently strong effort to beat the Volunteers. Ultimately, if donors from both states step up, we’re going to be in better position to save lives during the upcoming holiday week.”

Competition between two passionate fan bases drives the 36th annual blood battle, but stocking the shelves with lifesaving blood products for local hospitals before a holiday week is at the heart of the event. KBC and MEDIC, two nonprofit community blood centers, began the friendly rivalry in 1988 to ensure blood is available for Thanksgiving week. The need for blood traditionally increases during holidays while donations are in short supply.

Plugging into the power of Big Blue Nation, Kentucky has won three of the last four events and 11 of the last 13, including a victory last year. Overall, Kentucky leads the series 20-14-1.

Kentuckians will have plenty of opportunities this week to join the competition with eight donor centers in six cities and mobile drives across the state. In addition to a consistent weeklong presence on UK’s campus, KBC will offer public drives on Tuesday in Anderson, Lincoln, Pulaski and Rockcastle counties. All donor centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday.

Big Blue Crush 2023 T-shirt.

Donors can schedule their appointments by visiting kybloodcenter.org/events/big-blue-crush-2023 or calling 800.775.2522. Everyone who gives blood will be thanked with a limited-edition Big Blue Crush T-shirt.

Donations with KBC serve more than 70 hospitals in the Commonwealth. A healthy blood supply is critical to treating patients with cancer, providing support for surgeries, giving premature babies the gift of life, treating diseases such as sickle cell anemia, saving trauma patients and so much more.

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 Crush. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.

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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.