Fayette County

UK fans can do their part to help beat Florida, but this contest is for pints, not points.

University of Kentucky junior Clayton Brown of Shelbyville held a squeeze basketball as he donated blood in January 2013 during the 2013 Kentucky Blood Center’s Big Blue Slam blood drive kickoff at Rupp Arena. Photo by | Staff
University of Kentucky junior Clayton Brown of Shelbyville held a squeeze basketball as he donated blood in January 2013 during the 2013 Kentucky Blood Center’s Big Blue Slam blood drive kickoff at Rupp Arena. Photo by | Staff cbertram@herald-leader.com

Here’s a chance to find out whether you really do bleed blue.

Kentucky Blood Center is hosting Big Blue Slam, a competition against Florida to see who can donate the most blood.

It’s the 10th year for the contest, which runs Jan. 22 to 26 and helps replenish the community’s blood supply. Kentucky holds a 5-4 lead over Florida’s LifeSouth Community Blood Centers from previous years.

“Big Blue Slam is always the last of January, when the blood supply often needs a boost, and this year that is so true,” Martha Osborne, the blood center’s vice president of marketing, said in a news release. “Wintry weather has caused numerous blood-drive cancellations and donor center closings, while the flu has kept many regulars from donating. Recently, transfusions have been outpacing donations, and that’s serious.”

Everyone who donates during the event will receive a long-sleeve UK blue T-shirt.

The Kentucky Blood Center’s five donation centers, including those on Maple Leaf Drive and Beaumont Centre Circle in Lexington, will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the contest week.

And if you’ve ever wanted to shoot a few hoops on the floor of Rupp Arena, this might be your chance.

The Rupp Arena Blood Drive is 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at Rupp. Participants will be entered to win a tour of the UK locker room.

Blood donors must be at least 17 (or 16 with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in general good health. Each donor must show a driver’s license or other photo identification with first and last name.

Parental permission slips required for 16-year-old donors can be found at Kybloodcenter.org.

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