KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - With the Tennessee Volunteers securing their first win of the season, the pressure is now on the fans to notch a win of their own.
Beginning Monday, September 10, Vol fans in East Tennessee will be competing with University of Florida Gator fans in Gainesville to see who can donate the most blood. The week-long competition is a partnership between MEDIC Regional Blood Center and LifeSouth Blood Center. Both organizations provide lifesaving blood to local hospitals in their respective communities.
Tennessee fans are on a long winning streak having not lost since 2008.
"There's so many people out here who can use the blood that you give. Plus it's for a good cause. It's against Florida. Anytime you can go against Florida, might as well,"said donor Ray Whaley.
"Just like to be able to give back to make sure there's enough blood supply out there for everybody."
For MEDIC the week-long competition between them and the blood center in Gainesville is a big deal.
"We normally get about three times the blood this week than we do in an average week, so it is critically important to us,"said Ben Prijatel, Director of Marketing and Donor Recruitment.
Most of the blood collected stays locally, but there are some circumstances MEDIC is able to send blood to places in need.
"We're actually sending some blood to North Carolina today to help with the hurricane that's preparing to make landfall this week. They're not going to be able to collect blood. They're still going to have people in hospitals who need transfusions, and that's why we have events like this,"Prijatel said.
Several blood drives will also be located on the University of Tennessee campus.
Typically, MEDIC donor centers (Knoxville, Farragut, and Crossville) have little or no wait on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Donors are encouraged to donate early in the week in order to keep the entire donation process less than 45 minutes.
To thank donors, everyone who participates in the competition will receive a small one-topping Papa John’s Pizza, a free Petro, a free Texas Roadhouse appetizer, and a MEDIC t-shirt.