WILMINGTON, North Carolina - The UNCW Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is once again partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to conduct the 12th Annual Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Trask Coliseum.

The blood drive will run from 9 a.m. through 2:30 p.m. and donors will receive a UNCW-American Red Cross T-shirt and free pizza.

“The CAA Blood Drive Challenge is a great opportunity to show how involved our school and student-athletes are with helping those in need,” said Josh Woodfox, president of SAAC. “The blood drive is organized by UNCW's student-athletes, and we look forward to a large participation from UNCW's entire student population as well as the greater Wilmington community.”

The challenge was introduced in 2002 by the CAA's presidents to emphasize the critical importance of giving blood. Each conference institution designates one day during the fall term to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. With the assistance of local blood service centers, a count is kept of all individuals who donate blood on that day. Based on those numbers, the CAA determines a winner and presents a trophy to that institution.

The event is part of the annual competition conducted by the CAA between the league's member schools. It has raised 36,719 units of blood over the past decade, helping to save more than 97,000 lives.

The Seahawks contributed 181 units of blood of the 4,613 productive units collected last year. Delaware won the challenge for the sixth time in 2012 with a school-record 1,232 actual donors, which established a new event record for total collections.

“UNCW’s student-athletes and the athletic department enjoy partnering with the American Red Cross to help meet the growing need for blood donations,” said Will Libous, SAAC coordinator. “We would like to expand the event each year and our target for 2013 is 250 donors.”

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides blood to 103 hospitals and needs to have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each day to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses, receive lifesaving transfusions daily. 

To schedule an appointment to donate during the event, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation and enter the date and event code "CAA.”

UNCW’s CAA Blood Drive Totals

9/11/02                     138 units collected
9/11/03                     190 units collected
9/16/04                     174 units collected
12/1/05                     127 units collected (rescheduled)
9/26/06                     174 units collected
9/24/07                     196 units collected
9/18/08                     201 units collected
9/24/09                     257 units collected
9/23/10                     253 units collected
9/22/11                     188 units collected
9/20/12                     181 units collected