Current thank you item: Donating is My Favorite Elf T-shirt
LEXINGTON, Ky. – It’s still anyone’s ballgame in the 36th annual Big Blue Crush.
Kentucky kept – and even extended – its lead on Thursday in the yearly battle vs. Tennessee to collect blood before the Thanksgiving holiday, but the margin remains close heading into Friday’s finale. Kentucky Blood Center leads MEDIC Regional Blood Center out of Tennessee by 97 total donors, 1,719 to 1,622.
“Big Blue Nation, the ball is in our hands,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations at KBC. “With a big day on Friday, we can close this competition with a win, but we need donors to step up. We know Tennessee is in store for its biggest day yet, and the score is too close to assume your donation won’t make a difference. It will matter not only for this all-important competition, but most importantly for saving local lives during a critical time of the year.”
Kentuckians had increased their single-day turnout over the first three days, but numbers dipped a bit on Thursday with 430 donors contributing to the KBC side. It was still enough to inch a little closer to victory with 399 Tennesseeans donating on day four.
There are plenty of opportunities for donors hoping to play a deciding part in Big Blue Crush. All eight KBC donor centers (Lexington, Louisville, Corbin, Frankfort, Pikeville and Somerset) will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. University of Kentucky students, staff and faculty can donate on campus at Buell Armory (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or Lewis Honors College (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). And public drives will also be in Knox County (First United Methodist Church from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.), Mercer County (Mercer County High School from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Morgan County (Morgan County High School from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
Appointments are available at kybloodcenter.org/events/big-blue-crush-2023, or by calling 800.775.2522. All donors will receive a Big Blue Crush T-shirt as a thank you for saving local lives. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.
If Kentucky donors can clinch victory Friday, it would be Kentucky Blood Center’s fourth in the last five years and 12th in the last 14. Kentucky owns a 20-14-1 overall advantage.
The real victors of the Big Blue Crush competition are the patients in Kentucky and Tennessee who will receive the lifesaving need blood they need over Thanksgiving holiday week. Knowing donations dip during the holidays, Big Blue Crush was put together in 1988 to boost the blood supply and to continue to meet the consistent need.
All blood donated at KBC stays local. Kentucky Blood Center provides lifesaving blood to more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky. KBC is the exclusive blood provider for UK Healthcare, Baptist Health System and Appalachian Regional Healthcare.
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.
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