WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW students and residents of the Wilmington community will have an opportunity to help save lives on Thursday, Sept. 19, when the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) partners with the American Red Cross for the 12th annual Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Blood Challenge at Trask Coliseum.

The event is open to donors from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and participants will receive a UNCW-Red Cross T-shirt and free pizza.

Will Libous, Academic Coordinator for the SAAC, said, “There’s no better cause for people to attend. People have an opportunity to help out UNCW, the Wilmington community, and to save lives. There really is no more noble cause. We really want to show people our dedication to our community, and encourage anyone who is able to come and be a part of the experience.”

The CAA started the event in 2002 to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation. The nine CAA schools compete for the most donors and the winner receives a trophy. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate. Friends, family, and anyone who wants to donate are welcome.

UNCW’s goal for this year is 250 units of blood. Last year, UNCW raised 181 units. The overall program was a success last year, raising 4,613 units, and aims even higher this year. Since 2002, CAA schools have raised a total 36,719 units, saving more than 100,000 lives.

Delaware has won the challenge the past two years, and six times since the event began. Delaware raised 1,232 units in 2012, and 1,086 in 2011.

The Red Cross needs 1,600 units of blood a day to service Carolina hospitals. Blood is used to help accident victims, and many others with various illnesses and disorders. People’s lives rely on the generosity of blood donors.

UNCW has donated a total of 1,898 units of blood since 2002. The highest amount of donors was 257 in 2009.

Donors may visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code “CAA” to set up an appointment to donate.

UNCW 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