A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Blood Center’s 11th annual Big Blue Slam: Cats, Gators compete in life-saving blood battle

It’s time for Big Blue Slam, the annual blood battle between the Cats and the Gators to see which fans can donate the most blood. The 11th annual competition is Monday through Friday, Jan. 14-18), at all Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) donor centers and blood drives. Kentucky and Florida are tied, 5 to 5, in this yearly challenge between KBC and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers in Gainesville. Big Blue...

KBC asking Kentucky fans to help rebuild low blood supplies during Big Blue Slam January 22-26

The community blood supply is currently low, but Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) is giving donors a chance to help rebuild that supply while also proving they bleed blue during the 10th annual Big Blue Slam next week. Big Blue Slam, which is Jan. 22-26, pits Kentucky fans against Florida fans to see who can donate the most blood. Donors during Slam will receive a special long-sleeve T-shirt. “Big Blue...

Wildcat fans roll up their sleeves, outdistance Gator counterparts to win Big Blue Slam blood drive

The Big Blue Nation of blood donors topped Florida last week 1,653 to 1,569 in the ninth annual Big Blue Slam. “Thanks to Cat fans who rolled up their sleeves this week, at our donor centers, blood drives and Rupp Arena. While it’s always good to win Slam, their generosity couldn’t have come at a better time with winter weather heading our way,” said Martha Osborne, Kentucky Blood Center’s...

Big Blue Slam Day Two: Kentucky blood donors slamming Gators in annual donation competition

A big day at the Rupp Arena Blood Drive, where 275 people registered to donate blood, helped widen Kentucky’s lead over Florida, 777 to 536. “What a good day for Kentucky patients,” said Martha Osborne, Executive Director for Marketing and Recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center (KBC). “More than 500 generous blood donors rolled up their sleeves at KBC donor centers, blood drives and Rupp Arena...

Big Blue Slam: Wildcat fans take on Florida counterparts in annual blood donation battle

Kentucky fans can show the Florida Gators who are the best off the court by donating Jan. 23-27 during Big Blue Slam, the annual blood battle between Kentucky and Florida. The friendly competition between Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers in Gainesville pits fans of the Cats and the Gators to see who can donate the most blood the last week in January. Kentucky and...

Big Blue Slam blood battle against Florida begins Monday, Rupp Arena drive Wednesday

  Big Blue Slam, the annual Cats versus Gators blood battle, is Jan. 26-30. Donors can prove they bleed blue at any Kentucky Blood Center location or blood drive, or they can have a little extra fun from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Rupp Arena Blood Drive where they’ll be able to take a shot on the same court the Wildcats win on.   In addition to saving a Kentucky patient’s life,...

Despite strong finish, Wildat fans lose Big Blue Slam blood drive competition to Gators

Even though Kentucky had its biggest day of the week Friday, Florida still came out on top of Big Blue Slam, 1,744 to 1,502.   “Donors this week really showed what’s important by braving the elements to save lives,” said Martha Osborne, executive director of marketing and recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center.   “Although we lost this fun competition, the good news is we are heading...

Cats need big finish in Big Blue Slam to beat Gators; weather’s been bad for blood drive

Going into the last day of Big Blue Slam, Kentucky trails Florida, 1,394 to 1,160.   “It was a good day today. The sunshine helped, and we saw hundreds of donors. We’re hoping that trend continues tomorrow,” said Martha Osborne, executive director of Marketing and Recruitment for Kentucky Blood Center on Thursday, Jan. 30.   “Unfortunately, three of our blood drives tomorrow have...

It’s Not Over Yet: Kentucky trails Florida
in Big Blue Slam, but still two days to donate

With just two more days left in Big Blue Slam, Kentucky trails Florida, 1,050 to 844.   “We certainly appreciate everyone who has braved the cold this week and stopped by our donor centers or blood drives. With temps warming up Thursday and Friday we hope to see even more of the Big Blue Nation out saving lives. This isn’t over with yet,” said Martha Osborne, executive director of Marketing...

Frigid temps take toll on Wildcat donors
as Gator fans jump ahead in blood drive

Another day of frigid temperatures seemed to cool down Kentucky fans as Florida jumped ahead by 140 points, 741 to 601, on the second day of Big Blue Slam blood drive competition.   “While we want to win this competition, the most important thing is the community’s blood supply, and this winter weather has really hit us hard. We’ve had 30 blood drive cancellations this month which have resulted...

Couple who donate blood together … plan
to stay together; proposal at Big Blue Slam

Brian Lewis proposes to Amanda Semler at center court of Rupp Arena shortly after the couple gave blood for the Big Blue Slam competition. (Photo provided)   Big Blue Slam had a memorable start Monday with the Rupp Arena Blood Drive and a marriage proposal. Unfortunately, the first day of the annual blood drive competition between the Cats and Gators finished with Florida in the lead, 365 to 339.   More...

Big Blue Nation urged to show Gators who bleeds blue in annual blood drive competition

Even though Kentucky and Florida don’t meet on the hardwood until Feb. 15, the Big Blue Nation can still show the Gators who bleeds true blue during Big Blue Slam blood drive competition, Jan. 27-31.   Slam gets started off big on Monday with a special home court advantage when donors can give blood at Rupp Arena from noon to 7 p.m. While there, they’ll also be able to take a shot from the...

Kentucky still trails Florida with one day
left in annual Big Blue Slam blood drive

With one day to go in Big Blue Slam, Kentucky still trails Florida, 1561 to 1335.   “Today was our biggest day yet this week,” said Martha Osborne, Kentucky Blood Center’s executive director of marketing and recruitment. “With this momentum and enthusiasm from the Big Blue Nation of Lifesavers, we know we can finish Big Blue Slam strong.”   “With more winter weather predicted...

Wildcat fans still have two days to ‘pull out
a win’ in annual Big Blue Slam vs. Gators

More than 300 Kentucky donors showed they bleed blue on Wednesday, but it just wasn’t enough to overtake the Gators, who lead Big Blue Slam 1,156 – 973.   “With only two days left, we’re in danger of fouling out of this competition, but there’s still time to pull out a win,” said Martha Osborne, Kentucky Blood Center’s executive director of marketing and recruitment. “That’s...

Ky. Blood Center officials urge UK fans to finish strong as Gators lead blood drive

After grabbing the lead on Monday, the Gators didn’t let go on Tuesday, outscoring Kentucky blood donors 819 to 654 in the fifth annual Big Blue Slam.   Kentucky Blood Center officials are urging Big Blue fans to come out and finish the week strong, not only to help defeat Florida but to also boost the community blood supply.   “Recent winter weather and the flu season have taken a...

UK trails Florida in Big Blue Slam, but first day of Rupp Arena blood drive was ‘historic’

After the first day of Big Blue Slam, the Florida Gators have taken the lead, 431-310.   Although Kentucky trails, Monday was an historic day for Kentucky Blood Center donors, KBC officials report. Nearly 150 people showed up at Rupp Arena on a rainy Monday for the first-ever blood drive in the home of the Wildcats. Donors, who were given the opportunity to take a shot on the court, gave blood...

First-ever Rupp Arena blood drive kicks off Big Blue Slam; donors can shoot from floor

For the first time ever, blood donors can prove they bleed blue in Rupp Arena, home of the Wildcats.   Kentucky fans are invited to roll up their sleeves, donate blood and attempt a shot in Rupp Arena from noon to 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28. The Rupp Arena blood drive will kick off the 5th annual Big Blue Slam – Cats versus the Gators blood battle – which runs Jan. 28-Feb. 1.   Along...