CAA Blood Challenge Offers Gifts, Prizes and Celebrities

Posted: November 11, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: November 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

By Dave Andrews

If the chance to save a life isn’t rewarding enough, how about free food, T-shirts, bobbleheads and a chance to win a car? All of that will be offered in exchange for a blood donation.

The ninth annual Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Blood Challenge is under way, and Mason is setting out to beat its conference rivals in a competition to collect the most donations. Each of the 12 CAA institutions designated one day this fall to take part in the challenge. Mason’s day is Monday, Nov. 15, from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Dewberry Hall.

As added incentive, multiple gifts and prizes are offered to those who register and donate. All donors will receive a limited edition Alan Merten bobblehead and an “Are you my type?” T-shirt. During the challenge, Chipotle and Chick-fil-A will provide food, and donors can register for a chance to win a free one-year lease on a 2011 Chevy Cruze.

Also during the challenge, the LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan will broadcast live from Dewberry Hall between 2 and 5 p.m. Attendees will have a chance to meet Arrington and Dukes before and after the broadcast and during commercial breaks.

However, the real motivation for many donors, of course, is the opportunity to save lives. The CAA Blood Challenge has raised more than 22,000 units of blood over the past eight years, enough to help save more than 66,000 lives.

“The success of the CAA Blood Challenge is a source of pride for the conference and its member institutions,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said in a press release. “The event grows each year and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and participation on each of our campuses. I applaud the institutions for undertaking this life-saving project.”

After the numbers are tallied, the CAA presents a trophy to the winning institution. Drexel University won the CAA Blood Challenge for the fourth consecutive year in 2009 with 859 donors. The University of Delaware, which won the first four CAA Blood Challenges, placed second last year with 740 donors. Virginia Commonwealth University came in third with 466 donors.

Blood drive organizers at Mason are optimistic about the university’s chances of winning this year. More than 400 potential donors have already signed up, more than quadrupling Mason’s total from 2007. But last year’s numbers would suggest that Mason will need to more than double its number of donors to surpass Drexel, should the Dragons match their previous turnout.

To schedule an appointment, call 1-866-BLOODSAVES (866-256-6372) or go to the Inova Blood Donor Services web page.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu