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I-75 rivalry has friendly side with sixth annual Blood Bowl

Naturally, BGSU and the University of Toledo are big rivals, but this time the rivalry is put to good use in the annual Blood Bowl.

Every year, BGSU and UT compete in the Blood Bowl to see which school can collect the most blood for the American Red Cross.

Jacob Worley, American Red Cross intern, said the Blood Bowl is held near the annual game between BGSU and UT, because school spirit is high and more people are likely to participate.

This year marks the sixth Blood Bowl and the University has won every year besides last year. Erika Simmermeyer, secretary of the American Red Cross Club, said it is essential for as many students to donate if BGSU wants to reclaim the title.

A person is eligible to donate blood if they weigh between 110 and 350 pounds, are at least 17 years old and feel well on the day they plan to donate.

Eating foods high in iron, such as fruits and vegetables, is helpful in preparing to donate, Worley said.

Simmermeyer stressed the importance of donating blood.

“Your one pint of blood that you donate can save three lives,” Simmermeyer said.

Explaining the benefit of giving blood, Simmermeyer said last year the University collected 1,549 pints, which saved 4,650 lives.

“Donating is a good way to get involved and make a small difference in the lives of others,” Simmermeyer said.

The entire process takes about one hour. During this time a donor goes through a mini-physical exam in which their temperature, blood pressure and pulse is taken. A sample of blood is drawn to make sure an individual has enough red blood cells to donate safely.

However, many students such as Alicia Lindsey and Ashley Beach, seniors, fear donating blood because of the pain and needles associated with the process.

“I don’t think I will donate, because I am terrified of needles,” Lindsey said.

Beach agrees the pain and needles also scare her from donating.

But Worley encourages people to donate despite their fears.

“I have donated before and I would describe the feeling as being pinched,” Worley said. “It is a brief sting that lasts seconds. If you can tolerate a pinch then you will be fine.”

Worley also emphasized the importance of donating because there is a constant need for blood.

“A lot of people don’t realize how often blood is needed everyday. At one point in our lives most of us will either need blood or know somebody, such as family or a friend, that will need blood,” Worley said.

The donated blood is sent to a facility to make sure it is safe, then once it is cleared it is sent to hospitals in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.

Everyone who comes to the Blood Bowl will receive a free T-shirt and snacks for their donations.

The winner of the Blood Bowl is determined by tallying the highest percentage of donors based on full-time student population at the universities. The results will be announced during the UT vs. BG football game on Nov. 23 and the winner will be presented with the Blood Bowl trophy.

If students want to help in some other way besides donating blood, there are many volunteer positions available. E-mail [email protected] if interested.

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