Stakes increased when Raiders host WKU in October

Blood Drive competition begins at Noon today

October 3, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky will renew their nearly century-old football rivalry in Murfreesboro on Thursday night, October 6th, but a yearling rivalry between the two Sun Belt Conference schools will also share the spotlight that week.

The Blue Raiders and the Hilltoppers have played each other in football 61 times, with MTSU holding a slight 32-28-1 edge. But the two schools will go head-to-head for only the second time in a competitive blood drive for the American Red Cross that gets underway today. Last year's inaugural drive, the brain-child of Blue Raider Director of Athletics Chris Massaro, was won by Middle Tennessee in a hotly-contested competition.

Diane Turnham, Associate Director of Athletics for the Blue Raiders, and Dr. Gloria Bonner, Assistant to the President for Community Engagement, will spearhead the drive locally. And while they both know that the competitive drive between the two schools is intense, the real winner is the Red Cross. Last year's drive netted more than 1,000 pints of blood, with 551 donated at Middle Tennessee.

"That's what it is all about," Turnham pointed out. "While it is always great to compete against Western on the field, it is also satisfying to help others. And we can do both with this blood drive."

The blood drive will be held on both campuses Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, October 3rd-5th. The Middle Tennessee drive will be held in the Student Rec Center, with parking reserved for blood donors. Turnham also noted that reservations can be made on-line to avoid waiting. Please visit www.redcrossblood.org and click the blue box in the middle of the page "Enter Sponsor Code" and enter "mtsu19" to register and make an appointment.

On Monday, the opening day, the blood drive will start at noon, and conclude at 6 pm. On Tuesday, the blood drive will be open all day. Wednesday's times will be announced at a later date.

Because the game is on Thursday night instead of Saturday, there will be one less day to give blood. "We need to make sure we get the donors out earlier this year because we have less time than last year," Turnham pointed out.

The drive is open to all Middle Tennessee students, administrators, faculty, staff and alumni. Turnham also invited everyone in Murfreesboro and surrounding communities to come give blood. "It is a competition that almost everyone can get involved in, and we hope they will."

The winner will be announced at the MT-WKU football game on October 6th. Kickoff for the Thursday night game will be at 6:30 pm.

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