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Friendly blood drive competition fizzles following Iowa football losses

BY RISHABH R. JAIN | NOVEMBER 15, 2012 6:30 AM

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A fierce competition is brewing in anticipation of the Hawkeye-Cornhuskers encounter on Nov. 23, and it is not about football.

Student organizations from the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska are going head-to-head in a philanthropic competition to collect the most donated blood.

But organizers at the UI said they’ve seen a lower than expected turnout.

The UI President’s Leadership Society, in conjunction with Mississippi Valley regional Blood Center and DeGowin Blood Center, organized the first Corn Bowl Blood Drive efforts in Iowa City.

The school that collects the most pints of blood gets to fill the Corn Bowl trophy with corn from their state following the Nebraska-Iowa football game on November 23.

Charlotte Dutcher, executive vice president of the group, said she really hopes to see Iowa corn fill the Corn Bowl Trophy.

“I really hope it is our corn in the trophy again this year. It is such a cool idea,” she said.

Last year, in a pennies or more donation spree during the first Iowa-Nebraska game, Iowa beat Nebraska by collecting about $600 in change and thus poured its corn into the trophy. Nebraska won the game at home, beating Iowa 20-7. It was Nebraska’s first year in the Big Ten.

Things are looking glum this year, however, with the Hawkeyes on a four-game losing streak and a lull at the blood drive.

Amy Stahle, associate donor relations consultant at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, waited for three hours as not one donor showed up at the IMU Wednesday. 

“This is our second day, and sadly, yesterday, we didn’t see anyone,” she said. “We had some people signed up today, and they didn’t show up. So there is some disappointment in that. If you do plan on donating and have signed up, please show up.”

Stahle said better advertising and a greater social media presence could help boost what may now become an annual affair.

Jocelyn Borjas, another member of the President’s Leadership Society, said while the blood drive encountered a couple of planning glitches on Tuesday, more donors showed up Wednesday to donate a pint or two of their life fluid.

“We are definitely doing better today than yesterday,” the UI junior said. “I am not sure if students are too enthusiastic this year. I mean, if we had more chances of winning the game then that would have hyped up the entire school’s spirit. I think the motivation to beat Nebraska even in a blood drive is probably not much.”

Stahle also said most blood centers face a crunch at this time of the year as weather and festivities hinder the number of donations — making it an important time to donate. Earlier this year, the American Red Cross experienced a 15-year low in its blood supply — with 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June.

However, some people did trickle in towards the end of the IMU segment of the blood drive and more people donated blood at the U.S. Bank location, 204 E. Washington St.

Theater major Sydney Hayes said she was donating blood because she likes doing so.

“It’s obviously a good cause,” said the member of the Hawkeye Marching Band. “I think anybody who is capable should be donating. I was running around trying to get people to sign up.”


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