The Causeway Classic football showdown between UC Davis and Sac State takes place this weekend, but impatient students can get an early start on the competition off the field starting Tuesday.
BloodSource, a Sacramento-based blood bank and research center, is adding a twist to this year’s event by hosting a contest to see which school can register the most blood donors before Saturday’s big game.
“Basically [UC Davis] is in a competition with Sac State to get the most registered blood donors by Saturday,” said Anna Pfuff, the UCD student coordinator for the event. “The winning school will receive a ‘perpetual trophy’ which will be then awarded to each year’s winner, since we plan on making this an annual event.”
BloodSource will be at Freeborn Hall Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but students can donate anytime before Saturday, Pfuff said.
“People that aren’t able to donate on campus can go to the Davis BloodSource location on Hanover drive and make a donation in UCD’s name,” she said. “That still counts towards the competition.”
The idea for the Causeway blood-drive came about as a fun way to get more students involved in donating, said Kate Blake, BloodSource account manager and director of the event.
“College campuses really give us a great opportunity in terms of working with donors and educating the population about the importance of donating,” she said. “The biggest reason that people say they do not give blood is because they have never been asked.… We hope that the competition aspect will motivate more students to become donors.”
In addition to helping out their community and supporting UCD, students have some additional incentive to donate. Everyone that registers to give blood this week will receive a T-shirt, a ticket to the Sacramento IMAX theater and will be entered to win a free iPod from ASUCD. On top of that, the sorority or fraternity house with the most donors will receive a flat screen television, Pfuff said.
Sac State already started registering donors with two days of blood drives last week. As of now they have slightly over 1,000 donors and will add to that number with two smaller drives today and Thursday. However, UC Davis has plenty of room to catch up, Blake said.
“UC Davis usually registers about 1,200 students in two days, which is a little more than Sac State usually does,” she said. “The final number should be very close so it should be an exciting competition.”
Though BloodSource primarily works within the northern California region, donations are often sent to locations all over the nation, Blake said.
“[BloodSource] serves 47 different hospitals in 26 counties extending from Reno all the way to the Bay Area,” she said. “However, in the past we have sent blood to wherever it has been needed the most. This includes locations hit by natural disasters like Hurricane Ike and even Iraq.”
Though the process of drawing blood takes usually no more than 10 minutes, students should plan to spend about an hour going through the whole process of donating, including the time it takes to register and test their iron levels, Blake said.
“[Donating blood] is perfectly safe for the average college student,” she said. “We do ask that donors refrain from strenuous activity for about 72 hours after donating but other than that, they should be able to go about their daily activities normally.”
Other good tips for ensuring a pleasant donating experience include getting a good night’s rest, drinking lots of fluids prior to and after donating, and eating iron-rich foods such as red meat, fish and leafy green vegetables, according to the Red Cross Website.
Erica Lee can be reached at email@example.com.