Bleed blue for a good cause


Special Education freshman Ashley Fisher, left, has blood drawn from a Blood Center nurse while Pre-Nursing freshman Lucy Jayes relaxes after hers was taken.

Erin Shea

The competition between UK and Louisville reaches beyond sports.

The annual Battle of the Bluegrass Blood Drive put on by the Kentucky Blood Center gives fans a chance to give points to their favorite team while donating blood.

“It’s a great and easy way to help out the community, and you never know when you’re going to be the one in need,” said Denise Fields, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Kentucky Blood Center.

Another donor, dietetics junior Kerachel Rieger found the drive convenient.“It’s a good cause, and you don’t have to do a lot of work,” Rieger said.

“I didn’t have anything else to do today, and I’ve always wanted to give blood.”

Rieger said she did not know the blood drive competition was going on but saw the signs on campus and decided to donate today.

Donors are asked whether they would like to pick a team to add points to then are entered to win various prizes. Every participant receives a free T-shirt and donors this week are entered in a raffle to win a 46-inch TV, Fields said.

All of the donated blood is tested and transported by the Kentucky Blood Center to 70 hospitals and clinics throughout the state, with the UK hospital being one of the largest recipients, Fields said.

Cierra Cummins, business management junior, was another donor. She has been donating blood ever since she met the age requirement.

“Think about if your family or friends ever got hurt and needed blood,” Cummins said. “It saves lives and could save someone that you know.” Cummins has donated about a gallon of blood in her lifetime.

History junior Patrick Cawley said he usually participates in blood drives whenever they come to campus.

“The hardest part is the needle prick, but the rest is not that bad,” Cawley said.

The Battle of the Bluegrass competition has been going on for about four years. According to the Kentucky Blood Center website, UK is the usual winner. Fields said the beginning of the school year and football season is a great way to start up a friendly competition to inspire people to donate blood.

Currently, UK is in the lead with the most points. Students who have not yet donated can still sign up.

Blood drives on campus are taking place all this week. Visit for locations and times.