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Blood battle between Ohio State, Michigan continues

Courtesy of MCT

Michigan currently leads Ohio State in this year’s OSU-Michigan Blood Battle, a blood drive competition, which the Buckeyes have lost for the past three years.

This year, however, Candice Hines, OSU donor recruitment representative for the American Red Cross, said OSU has a chance to pull off a win.

“It is the most contested Blood Battle drive between universities,” Hines said. “Last year Michigan beat us by 107 donors … And they stop their drives before we do because they are on semesters.”

This year, the 30th Blood Battle started with blood drives on Nov. 1 and will run through Nov. 23 on the OSU campus. The winner of the battle will be announced before the OSU versus Michigan football game on Nov. 26.

As of Nov. 8, Michigan led OSU in the Blood Battle by 34 units of blood, but the contest continues up until a few games before the game.

Hines said the American Red Cross depends on partnership with OSU student groups and organizations to bring in more donors and help out at drives.

“We need more — we don’t have enough — participating on the drives,” Hines said. “Ideally, I’d like to see two or more groups on every single drive.”

Andy Leubitz, a third-year in biology and blood drive coordinator for his fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, said his drive on Nov. 2 had a “decent” turnout, but he would like to see more donors in future drives.

“I was hoping that we could get 20 donors,” Leubitz said. “But 14 is better than zero.”

Alpha Epsilon Pi will also help host blood drives on Nov. 21, 22 and 23 in the Ohio Union.

“The November 21 and 22 are big push days for us, the goal is about 200 plus,” Leubitz said. “The one on the 23, the goal is 75 plus (donors).”

Hines said that if both schools managed to reach their donor goals for each drive, 5,000 units of blood would be donated, which would help 15,000 patients who need blood.

In order to beat Michigan, the OSU community needs to get the word out about the many drives on campus, Hines said. The OSU American Red Cross Club, which organizes most of the on-campus blood drives, is working hard this year to promote their drives.

President of the ARCC at OSU, Doire Perot, a third-year in operations management, said she has been donating blood consistently for the past five years. She said she already has an appointment to donate to the Blood Battle.

“Just how easy it is to do and what a big impact it makes. A lot of people don’t realize they are saving lives (by donating),” Perot said. “I spend an hour of my day giving back to the community, and it helps beat Michigan.”

Perot, who said she does not want to lose to Michigan for a fourth consecutive year, said the best way to get OSU’s donor number up is to get people to promote the drives, even if they cannot donate.

“We’ve lost the past three years, and we’re already losing now,” Perot said. “Just show your Buckeye pride and give back, any way you can.”

Leubitz said even though the competition will help people regardless of who wins, he still wants to beat Michigan.

“I’d really like to see OSU win,” Leubitz said. “We’re much bigger and having a lot more drives this year, so there’s no reason not to win this year.”

This year, the ARCC at OSU created a Twitter account to try to get the word out in a new way, Perot said. Students can follow @OSUARCC on Twitter for updates, as well as us the hashtag #BloodBattle2011.

Hines, who received donated blood as an infant, said even if students cannot participate in this year’s Blood Battle, the American Red Cross holds blood drives on campus throughout the year.

“Blood battle is just one of those months that we do something special,” Hines said. “But the need is constant.”

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