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Gator blood donors look to end Vols’ streak

Gator blood donors look to end Vols’ streak

When it comes to Gators vs. Vols on the football field, there’s no question which team has had the upper hand in recent years. But in the annual battle of blood donors, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers hopes to see a streak end.

In Gainesville it’s called “What Colors Do You Bleed?” In Knoxville, Medic Regional Blood Center calls it Tennessee vs. Florida TailGate, and since the rivalry started in 2006 as a way for both cities to boost blood donations, Gainesville and LifeSouth have won only once – that was in 2008.

“Most Gators know we also won a national championship that year. I’m not saying the two are related, but I would certainly like to test it out and end the streak for the Vols,” said LifeSouth North Florida District Director Dustin Scott. “Yes, it’s a fun, friendly rivalry. Yes, both sides save a lot of lives with it. But I’d still love to be on the winning side.”

While for Gator football fans, Sept. 26 is marked on the calendar as the day UF heads to Knoxville, for LifeSouth and Medic, Sept. 14-18 is circled for the annual contest.

Scott said some fans get a little confused, because the donation competition isn’t the same week as the football game, but that’s for a good reason, tied to the minimum 56-day waiting period required between blood donations.

“Medic’s donors also have a big competition against Kentucky at the end of the season. By moving the competition up, their donors can compete in both,” he explained.

During that week donors at all of LifeSouth’s Gainesville locations and bloodmobiles will be competing with donors in Knoxville to see who can have the most donors and claim bragging rights for the year. It’s Smokey vs. Albert, “Rocky Top” vs. “We Are the Boys” in a battle with sleeves rolled up.

“This is our biggest week of the year,” Scott said.

Donors must be at least 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required. All donors get a specially designed “What Colors Do You Bleed?” T-Shirt.

Contact: Laura Bialeck, LifeSouth North Florida Community Development Coordinator 352-359-0988 (cell)

Dustin Scott, LifeSouth North Florida District Director 352-318-4083 (cell)


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