More than 1,000 units of whole blood were donated during last week’s Blood Bowl, which pitted East Carolina University against North Carolina State to see which school’s community could donate the most.

State’s 783 units of whole blood collected Sept. 14-16 was more than double ECU’s 376, but the real victors are patients at area hospitals who need lifesaving transfusions.

The Blood Connection said that the goal was to collect a combined 600 units of blood across both campus communities.

“Each donation has the potential to save up to three lives,” said Ellen Kirtner, partnerships and media coordinator for The Blood Connection in eastern North Carolina, which hosted the event alongside student government associations from both universities.

SGA President Chandler Ward was glad to get the initiative started. The event was the first blood battle between North Carolina universities and in part the brainchild of his predecessor.

“The ECU Student Government Association was very excited to co-host the first annual blood bowl with NC State SGA, an initiative started by our previous president, Tucker Robbins,” Ward said. “Although NC State beat us in total donations, I think our team agrees this is not a bowl we’re upset about losing. We were just happy to be a part of it.


“I was particularly passionate about working with the Blood Connection because they keep their donations local, and I can’t wait to see the impact this initiative has in years to come.”

Ward wants to see the SGA continue to serve the campus community with similar events.

“As SGA representatives, I believe we owe a service to our surrounding community as well, and I hope Mckenzy (Heavlin, N.C. State SGA president) enjoyed the friendly competition just as much as I did,” Ward said. “During this year’s pilot program, I think we both learned strategies from one another we hope to implement on our respective university campuses to increase our total blood collections in the future.”

Heavlin said that he hopes to work with ECU for a future competition as well.

“{span}Student Government is looking forward to working with The Blood Connection and ECU next year to bring the blood drive back to both campuses and secure another win for the Wolfpack,” Heavlin said.”{/span}

The blood will be provided to hospitals across Vidant Health, UNC Healthcare, WakeMed Health, CarolinaEast Medical Center and other hospitals in eastern North Carolina.

Contact Pat Gruner at pgruner@reflector.com and 252-329-9566.