Kentucky Retains Big Blue Crush Trophy with 2023 Win Nov. 18, 2023

KBC Donors Showed Up in Huge Numbers to Boost Thanksgiving Blood Supply

Kentucky wins Big Blue Crush 2023 gif.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Big Blue Crush trophy is staying home in Kentucky!

Kentucky donors came through for local patients again, packing Kentucky Blood Center locations all week to boost the blood supply and defeat Tennessee’s MEDIC Regional Blood Center in the 36th annual Big Blue Crush. Kentucky finished the week with 2,199 donors, edging Tennessee’s 2,067 total.

The margin was razor-thin throughout the five-day competition. Kentuckians, proving their passion as they so often do for their athletic teams, answered the challenge Friday with 480 donors, the largest single-day Kentucky total in a Big Blue Crush competition since 2020.

KBC’s 2,199 total is its most since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted operations and donor turnout.

2023 Big Blue Crush final results: Kentucky 2,199, Tennessee 2,067

KBC’s 2,199 total is its most since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted operations and donor turnout.

“Big Blue Nation and KBC donors have done it again,” said Mandy Brajuha, VP of external relations at KBC. “Thank you to everyone who played a part in the victory this week. Every donor mattered in this all-important push to stock the blood shelves before Thanksgiving holiday week. We are obviously happy to beat our rivals in Tennessee, but I think I can speak for both sides and say that KBC and MEDIC are thrilled to be able to supply our local hospitals with a much-needed boost for Thanksgiving. Thank you to everyone for saving lives!”

Kentucky improved to 21-14-1 in the friendly competition, which began in 1988 between the two community blood centers to boost the blood supply before the holiday when donations typically dip. KBC has won four of the last five events and 12 of the last 14.

Donations with KBC supply more than 70 hospitals in Kentucky. Blood transfusions are used for everything from cancer treatments to premature births, surgeries, anemia, diseases, car accidents and more.

Donors who were unable to give for Big Blue Crush are encouraged to give next week to keep the blood supply healthy for the holiday. Donors can schedule at any one of KBC’s eight donor centers or daily mobile drives by visiting or by calling 800.775.2522.

KBC donor centers will be open Monday and Tuesday under normal hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) during Thanksgiving week. Donor centers will close on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Donor centers will be open Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

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.