RICHMOND, Va. (September 12, 2008) – The seventh annual Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge gets underway on Tuesday with the hope of continuing its streak of record-setting campaigns. The 2007 event resulted in 3,425 actual donors and 3,399 productive units of blood from the 12 CAA campuses, which represented a three percent increase over the 2006 totals and an amazing 192% increase from the inaugural blood challenge in 2002.  Over the past six years, the CAA Blood Challenge has raised a total of 14,096 units of blood, which has helped to save 42,288 lives.

“The success of the CAA Blood Challenge has become a source of pride for the conference and its member institutions,” CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. “To have collected over 14,000 units of blood during the past six years is an incredible accomplishment. The event grows each year and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and participation on each of our campuses.  Our ability to enhance each community’s blood supply is incredibly important and I applaud the institutions for undertaking this life-saving project.”

Each CAA institution designates one day during the Fall to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. With the assistance of local blood service centers, a count is kept of all people who donate blood on that day. Based on those numbers, the CAA determines a winner and presents a trophy to that institution.

Drexel University has been the winner of the CAA Blood Challenge for the past two years. In 2007, Drexel set a challenge record with 942 actual donors, which resulted in 875 units of blood collected.  All 12 CAA institutions had at least 75 donors participate in the program and six collected more than 250 units of blood.  Along with Drexel, four-time Blood Challenge champion Delaware had 678 donors, VCU had 325 donors and Georgia State had 304 donors.

The CAA Blood Challenge was developed in 2002 by the league presidents as a fun way to emphasize the critical importance of donating blood. Each institution promotes the event on campus and encourages student groups, faculty, staff and alumni to participate and support their school.

The blood drive dates on each CAA campus are as follows:

September 16, 2008            College of William and Mary
September 18, 2008            UNC Wilmington
September 23, 2008            Georgia State University
September 24, 2008            Virginia Commonwealth University
October 6, 2008            Towson University
October 15, 2008            George Mason University
October 21, 2008            Hofstra University
October 23, 2008            Northeastern University
October 29, 2008            James Madison University
October 30, 2008            Drexel University
November 6, 2008            Old Dominion University
November 12, 2008            University of Delaware