By Keith Allen
Arizona Daily Wildcat
The Wildcats trail the Sun Devils by 196 pints with two days to go in the weeklong "UA vs. ASU Blood Donor Challenge" for the American Red Cross.
As of yesterday morning, the UA had raised 400 pints of blood to ASU's 596 pints, said Kay Donohoe, director of donor resources at the American Red Cross.
The UA Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council sponsor the event that started in 1987, when the Greeks at ASU challenged UA in a special weeklong blood drive to fill blood inventories in Tucson and Phoenix and introduce students to the importance of donating, according to a UA press release on the event.
"It is worthwhile, and the sorority that I am a house director with is being challenged," said Carol Meinema, house director for Chi Omega, explaining why she donated. "It is on campus and it is so easy."
"I did it for philanthropy hours, for my fraternity and to beat ASU," said Tony Willert, an accounting and finance junior and member of Kappa Alpha.
"I don't like to lose, and when a challenge is put upon me, I do whatever it takes to win," said Adam Steelman, an undecided freshman and member of Phi Gamma Delta, on the challenge from ASU.
Not all students donated just for the challenge, though.
"A friend wanted to do something good and wanted to donate blood, so I decided to also," said first-time donor Emily Sussman, a literature senior.
Friends bringing their friends is a common way to gain donors, Donohoe said. She said that she finds a lot of people start either at high school blood drives or in college when they go with a friend.
"If they start when they are young they are more likely to keep donating throughout their lifetime," Donohoe said. "If they do it once, they will do it again."
Every year, the American Red Cross of Southern Arizona must collect 48,000 pints of blood to fulfill their needs, Donohoe said. Each pint of blood it collects helps four patients, she said.
She said students raise more than 3,000 pints of blood for the Red Cross during the school year. The challenge between UA and ASU raised 2,338 pints of blood in one week last year.
Most of it stays in Southern Arizona, though if some is needed in other areas of the country it could be sent there, Donohoe said.
After giving blood yesterday, Hannah Gardner, a psychology junior, gave a simple reason for donating: "If I needed blood I would want to know that it was there."
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