Annual Blood Battle tops last year’s donations

The 23rd annual UTM Blood Battle topped the September 2016 blood donation total, but fell short of this year’s 400-unit goal.

Danelle Fabianich, coordinator of campus blood drives, said that the campus saw 460 donors and drew 325 units of blood, which is 16 units more than last year.

“Thank you to everyone who helped to make the 23rd Annual Blood Battle a huge success,” Fabianich said.

In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, some students who gave blood talked about their decision to donate.

“(It’s) something I’ve always done since I went to college,” said Evelyn Turner, a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from Bumpus Mills.

“The email about giving extra stuff to hurricane victims” drove his donation, said Trey Standridge, a senior Civil Engineering major from Atoka. Jennifer McGeehee, a sophomore Social Work major from Dresden, said she donated for the T-shirt and to help people.

“My mom always did it every time they have an event,” said Thomas Dowdy, a senior Wildlife Science major from Murfreesboro.

“I feel like it’s good to give blood any time we can and feel like since it’s the ‘battle of the blood drives,’ that’s some extra motivation,” said Catie Ing, a junior Elementary Education major from Milan.

“It’s just a good thing to do because it can help others and save lives,” said Dalton Westphal, a senior Psychology major from Buckhannon, West Virginia.

Other students said it was their first time to donate, including Dubem Azogini, a freshman Biology major from Collierville.

“I’ve never done it before, but because of the hurricane I’d rather be of some help,” said Taylor McNeil, a freshman Biology major from Memphis.

Tammy Hurst, Lifeline Blood Services recruiter for Weakley County and a UTM alumna, said she was proud of the campus drive.

“Coming to UT Martin is one of my favorite times because I graduated from here. It makes me so proud to see all of these students step up, give blood, and help save lives in their community,” Hurst said.

The next UTM blood drive will be held Nov. 14-15. For those who missed this week’s drive, but still want to donate before November, check Lifeline’s donation calendar at

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