‘A Little Magic in the Air’ as ASU, Red Cross Set New Blood Collection State Record at Homecoming Blood Drive

Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

By Paul T. Choate

ASU and the Red Cross broke their own state record they set last year, collecting 1,315 pints of blood at yesterday’s sixth annual Homecoming Blood Drive. Photo by Ken Ketchie

Sept. 27, 2012. Update: The sixth annual Appalachian State University Homecoming Blood Drive happened yesterday. The American Red Cross and Appalachian State University set new records at the blood drive, collecting 1,315 pints of blood.

“Everyone is really excited, I think not only for the big number we were able to throw out but also the fact that it was such a smooth drive,” said Kate Johnson, assistant director for community service with the ACT (Appalachian and Community Together) Program. “We were very proud of the event we were able to put on and the positive donor experiences we were able to provide.”

Last year’s blood drive set a then-state record for the highest amount of blood collected in a single day with 1,261 pints. That figure was also good for the eighth most units ever collected nationally at a blood drive. Additionally, it set the 2011 record for the most units collected at a university-sponsored blood drive that year.

Johnson said where the 1,315 pints will rank nationally will not be known until the beginning of next year, but added she hopes they will be in the top five. 

“Appalachian etched its name a little deeper in history today,” reads the 1,000 Pint Blood Drive webpage. Additionally, the new record was set with only minimal wait times for donors. 

Johnson also noted special thanks to the Red Cross, saying they provided a tremendous amount of resources, and to ASU students for turning out in such high numbers for the good cause.

“There was a little magic in the air yesterday,” she said. “It’s very surreal. I don’t that it’s hit any of us yet.”

For more information, visit specialevents.appstate.edu and click “1,000 Pint Blood Drive” on the left hand side of the page.


Sept. 26, 2012. Update: As of 3:45 p.m. today, the sixth annual Appalachian State University Blood Drive held at the Holmes Convocation Center has collected 645 pints of blood. With seven hours to go, they need 616 pints to break their own state record they set last year. It is worth noting, however, that all pints have to be tested to make sure it can be used prior to being added to the count, so the figure could be slightly more. 


ASU Looks to Improve on State Blood Collection Record They Set Last Year at Sixth Homecoming Blood Drive

By Paul T. Choate

Sept. 25, 2012. Tomorrow, Sept. 26, the American Red Cross and Appalachian State University will be aiming to break new records at the sixth annual Homecoming Blood Drive at the Holmes Convocation Center.

Last year’s blood drive set a state record for the highest amount of blood collected in a single day with 1,261 units. That figure was also good for the eighth most units ever collected nationally at a blood drive. Additionally, it set the 2011 record for the most units collected at a university sponsored blood drive that year.

Kate Johnson, assistant director for community service with the ACT (Appalachian and Community Together) Program, said ASU has been preparing for the blood drive since April and said she believed the Red Cross starts preparing about a year out. Though ASU is hoping to break the record, every unit collected helps.

“We would be happy with 1,000 [units] — that’s kind of our goal — but ultimately I think we’re all secretly hoping to break our record from last year,” said Johnson.

The Red Cross will be pulling staff members from as far away as Wilmington to assist with the drive. Johnson said about 200 Red Cross members will be on hand tomorrow. Additionally, the ACT Program has been recruiting student volunteers for about a month.

Online appointments were encouraged due to the enthusiasm associated with the annual event, but Johnson said anyone eligible to donate blood could participate. However, without an appointment, the wait might be a bit lengthy. Donors will receive a T-shirt and the chance to win a $3,000 gift card.

ASU alumni are also encouraged to donate at local Red Cross blood centers across the state throughout the week. Though only units collected at the blood drive located the Convocation Center will be counted to the unit total, Johnson said many alumni give blood during this week simply out of pride in being a member of the ASU family and the desire to help others in need.

“This is one of my favorite events,” said Johnson. “Not only does it show the amazing spirit of the Appalachian students, but also it really gets the message our about just how much blood is needed.”

Johnson added that only about five percent of the average population donates blood and that the percentage of ASU students who participate in blood drives is significantly higher.

The blood drive will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Holmes Convocation Center is located at 111 Rivers St., Boone.

For more information, visit specialevents.appstate.edu and click “1,000 Pint Blood Drive” on the left hand side of the page.

Check back with High Country Press tomorrow. We will be following the blood drive and will be updating this article periodically as totals come in on how many units have been collected.

About the Red Cross
The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Important information about donating blood
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given safely every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

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