Florida takes slim lead over Kentucky in ‘Big Blue Slam’ blood drive

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Blood Donation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Florida battled back and took a slight lead after the second day of this year’s Big Blue Slam. Kentucky totaled 253 donors, but Florida’s 274 donors gave them an overall lead of 441-434 in the 12th annual blood drive competition.

Big Blue Slam is the annual blood battle between the Cats and the Gators to see which fans can donate the most blood. The annual competition week goes through Friday, and is at all Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) donor centers and blood drives.

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Kentucky has a 6-5 lead in this yearly challenge between KBC and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers in Gainesville. Big Blue Slam helps to encourage blood donors when winter weather and flu season can hamper donations.

“The competion couldn’t get much closer, which is all the more reason for Cat fans to come out and donate this week,” Martha Osborne, Vice President of Marketing said. “Every donation counts – for the competition, but more importantly, for the patients saved by the blood donated this week.”

As a thank you for saving a life, Kentucky donors will receive a throwback Big Blue Slam T-shirt (pictured).

Donors may give at any KBC mobile blood drive or donor center. KBC donor centers, which will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Slam week, are listed below:

Andover Donor Center

3130 Maple Leaf Drive, Lexington

Beaumont Donor Center

3121 Beaumont Centre Circle, Lexington

Hillview Donor Center

5406 Antle Drive, Louisville

Middletown Donor Center

12905 Shelbyville Road, Louisville

Pikeville Donor Center

472 S. Mayo Trail, Pikeville

Somerset Donor Center

10 Stonegate Centre (Stoplight 16A), Somerset

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.

Walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a donation or find other donation locations, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.