UPDATE: Kentucky seals its second consecutive victory on snowy Friday

First day features Kroger, Walmart gift cars; KBC looking to slam winter shortages

UPDATE (1/28/22) – Despite the weather, Kentucky sealed its second consecutive victory over Florida in the 14th annual Big Blue Slam blood drive competition. According to the Kentucky Blood Center, 1,405 Solid Blue fans donated compared to 1,344 donors for Florida. Kentucky now leads the overall series 8-6.

KBC reports 275 donations on Friday, compared to Florida’s 281.

“With today’s weather, we were concerned about turnout,” said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “The Big Blue faithful didn’t let us down though and we were able to bring home the win for the second year in a row.”

According to KBC, blood donations are still needed as a critical blood shortage continues across the country. Due to weather, the Kentucky Blood Center will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29.

KBC donor centers are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays, 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

To schedule a donation, click HERE or call 800.775.2522.

UPDATE (1/27/22) – Kentucky leads the Big Blue Slam blood drive heading into the final day of the competition. According to the Kentucky Blood Center, 311 donors rolled up their sleeves on Thursday. Solid Blue fans now lead Gator faithful and LifeSouth Community Blood Center, 1,130 donors to 1,063 donors.

“We are thrilled to have a healthy lead heading into the final day of competition,” said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “We still need a good showing on Friday to win this competition and put blood on the shelves at local hospitals.”

The annual competition week goes through Friday, and donations can be made at all Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) donor centers and blood drives.

As a thank you for saving a life, Kentucky donors will receive a long-sleeved Big Blue Slam T-shirt. As an added bonus, anyone who donates blood before Jan. 31 can take their post-donation form to Krispy Kreme and get a dozen free donuts.

UPDATE (1/26/22) – Day three of the Big Blue Slam blood drive competition came to a close Wednesday with Kentucky increasing the lead over Florida.

In total, 819 Kentucky fans have now donated compared to Florida’s 767 donors.

“As we continue to face critical blood shortages, it was nice to see Cat fans brave the cold weather today,”  said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “We can’t slow down now and need to see a big turnout for our final two days of competition.”

UPDATE (1/25/22) – Day two of the 14th annual Big Blue Slam ends with Kentucky holding the lead over Florida but not by much.

Both fanbases turned out big for their respective schools on Tuesday. The Kentucky Blood Center reports 541 total donors giving so far, while LifeSouth Community Blood Center’s 529 donors are putting pressure on Big Blue fans entering the middle of the week.

“This rivalry is always heated and the margin is normally super thin, which is proving to be the case this year,”  said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “Florida made up some ground with Tuesday’s collections and we need to see Cat fans out in force to help us maintain a lead.”

UPDATE (1/24/22) – Kentucky takes an early lead in the 14th annual blood battle known as Big B lue Alam. With the overall series tied at six wins apiece, Kentucky and Florida continue a heated rivalry. Kentucky Blood Center reports an early lead on the first day with 286 donors rolling up their sleeves to LifeSouth Community Blood Center’s 252 donors.

Big Blue Slam is the annual blood battle between Cat fans and Gator fans to see which school’s supporters can donate the most blood. The annual competition week goes through Friday, and donations can be made at all Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) donor centers and blood drives.

Kentucky leads the series 7-6 after securing a narrow win last year in the annual 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.

“We had a great first day and were thrilled with the turnout,” said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “We hope to keep this momentum rolling and get some much-needed blood on the shelves at Kentucky hospitals.”

ORIGINAL STORY (1/23/22)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On the heels of winter weather forcing blood drive cancellations and shortages, Kentucky Blood Center is hoping UK fans will turn out in force for its annual blood drive competition with LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Florida.

The 14th annual Big Blue Slam is Jan. 24-28 at all Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) donor centers and blood drives, and comes at an important time as the blood centers across the country continue unprecedented blood shortages as the pandemic persists.

In an effort to get an early lead, KBC will offer $15 Kroger or Walmart gift cards to donors who visit one of the six donor centers on Monday, Jan. 24, while supplies last. Kroger gift cards will be given at the Louisville, Lexington and Somerset locations and Walmart gift cards will be given in Pikeville.

“We are excited with the success our Cats have had this season and wins are always fun to be a part of, both on and off the court,” said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations. “We want Big Blue fans to secure two wins over Florida – first in this great annual blood battle and then on the hardwood on February 12.”

Kentucky and Florida tied on Day 1 of the 2020 Big Blue Slam competition and Kentucky even fell behind midweek, however UK fans came up big on the final two days of competition to help secure a narrow 1,214-1,177 victory.

Big Blue Slam was created to encourage blood donation during the winter months, when weather and illness can hamper collections. The pandemic and unusually abundant snow this month already has impacted KBC’s ability to collect blood, especially on mobile drives.

As a thank you for saving a life, Kentucky donors will receive a great long-sleeved Big Blue Slam T-shirt.

Donors may give at any KBC mobile blood drive or donor center. KBC donor centers, which are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 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, found at kybloodcenter.org.

Appointments are preferred to ensure social distancing. Walk-ins are accepted as space allows. There is no wait time to donate after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule a donation, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522.

Celebrating more than 50 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Somerset.

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