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Big Blue Crush 2021 blood drive kicks off

Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 9:49 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The 34th annual Big Blue Crush kicks off on Monday.

It’s a blood drive battle between UK and Tenessee fans with the goal of boosting blood supply during the holidays. For the past two years, Kentucky has beaten Tennessee during the Big Blue Crush blood drive but, it’s more than just a competition, it’s about saving lives.

The Big Blue Crush blood drive has been going on now for 34 years in a team effort between the Kentucky Blood Center and Knoxville’s Medical Regional Blood Center.

While it has been a fun competition over the years, the importance of giving blood this year is more important than ever, According to officials, there has been a drastic decrease in donations over this past year due to the pandemic and because they have been limited on what they can do with mobile blood drives and even visiting schools.

While they’re just now starting to get back to doing more events, like Big Blue Crush, there is still a shortage nationwide.

“We’re just not collecting at the same levels we were in a normal year,” said Mandy Brajuha, VP of External Relations at Kentucky Blood Center. “I think it’s hard for us all to remember a normal year, but definitely we continue to see limited donations and it’s not just unique to us, all of our blood center partners across the country are experiencing it.”

In Lexington, donors can donate at either the Beaumont or Andover donor centers daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.:

Mobile drives will be underway on UK’s campus throughout the week as well.

Donors across the Commonwealth can donate at KBC donor centers or mobile drives until Friday. Click here for more information and a complete list of locations.

Blood donors must be at least 17-years-old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. Donors must also show a photo I.D. with first and last name, like a state-issued driver’s license.

Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at kybloodcenter.org.

Donors that give during this week will receive a limited-edition T-shirt and a Texas Roadhouse appetizer coupon, but those that visit Monday or Tuesday of this week will also get entered to possibly win a four-pack of tickets to UK’s final home football game.

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