In an effort to stimulate blood donation among Utah college students, in addition to meet record-high demand, the American Red Cross has teamed up with UVU volunteers and pitted them against the similarly equipped Weber State in an epic “Blood Battle” between the state’s two newest universities to see which will donate more blood.

The American Red Cross is no stranger to competition and its beneficial results, as illustrated by the overwhelming response from this year’s annual September blood drive competition between the University of Utah and Utah State University, which yielded the winning amount of 1,235 units from Utah State.

“I am really excited to be involved with the blood drive,” said John Holbrook, president of the Pre-physician Assistants Club and director of the blood drive’s marketing on campus. “I think it is a great way to help the community. I am also excited about the competition because I think it will bring more school spirit — something we always need.”

UVU will be accepting donations on Wednesday, Oct. 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center’s Ballroom Commons area for the school’s first ever blood donation competition. The goal is to collect at least 100 units, and, at one unit per person, the first 100 students to donate blood will receive a J-Dawg courtesy of Bob Rasmussen, assistant vice president of Student Services, and UVU’s Service Council.

The fulfillment of UVU’s goal of 100 units is a small but much-needed step forward to meet the increasing demand at blood banks statewide.

“In Utah, every eight minutes someone needs blood,” said Anita Kay, donor recruiter for the Red Cross. “The American Red Cross supplies blood to more than 40 hospitals in the state and, since the storage time for blood is limited, the Red Cross needs to collect an average of 2,350 units of blood each week to meet patient’s needs.”