University of Delaware
UD has captured the Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge for the third straight year.

CAA champs

UD wins third straight Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge


1:09 p.m., Dec. 13, 2013--For the third straight year -- and for the seventh time in the 12-year history of the event -- the University of Delaware has captured the Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge.

The event, which is held each fall on the campuses of CAA member schools, was a big success once again as 2,903 productive units of blood were collected from 2,776 donors on nine CAA campuses. 

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Over the 12-year history of the event, the CAA Blood Challenge has resulted in 39,622 productive units of blood.

UD captured the CAA Blood Challenge for the third year in a row and seventh time overall with 1,173 donors -- nearly 50 percent of the overall number of donors -- for the event that was held on Nov. 13 at four campus sites. 

Tom Yeager, Colonial Athletic Association commissioner, will present the trophy at a UD home basketball game later this winter.

“The University of Delaware is extremely proud once again this year to have captured the CAA Blood Challenge title,” said Eric Ziady, director of athletics and recreation services. “We are proud of our student-athletes’ accomplishments both in the classroom and on the playing fields and programs such as this play such an important role as our young men and women develop into leaders in the community. We want to thank everyone in the UD community who took part in this great program and gave a life-saving gift to those who need it most.”

Drexel University finished second in the CAA Blood Challenge with 380 donors and Hofstra University was close behind in third with 370 donors after having the highest percentage increase of donors from 2012. 

Towson University (295 donors) and the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, (189 donors), which placed fourth and fifth respectively, also saw an increase in the number of donors from a year ago.

“Thanks to everyone who organized and participated in making the CAA Blood Challenge a success,” Yeager said. “The outstanding efforts put forth by our students, faculty and administrators have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people during a critical time for blood donations over the holiday season. This event has become a source of pride at all of our CAA institutions.”

Jerry Oravitz, UD’s director of football operations and Blood Challenge site coordinator, said, “The University of Delaware Department of Athletics and Recreation Services is thrilled to win our third consecutive CAA Blood Challenge championship. This string of success is another great example of the Blood Bank of Delmarva, the University, and our community working together as one team to provide a necessary and critical service for the people in Blue Hen country.”

UD used the theme “Dare to Donate” and enlisted the support of the businesses in the city of Newark as well as the campus community to spread the word of the blood drive.

“After a very successful blood drive last year, the largest in Blood Bank and CAA history, our staff was determined to make a statement and go for a ‘Threepeat’ this year. I am happy we accomplished that goal,” said Roy Roper, president and CEO of the Blood Bank of Delmarva. “As a longtime community partner and supporter, we could not be more proud of our staff, the students, administration, faculty and alumni of the University of Delaware. Students, faculty and neighbors came together again to support another hugely successful day. This is an outstanding effort and we’re proud to say the CAA Blood Challenge trophy will be staying in Newark.”

“It’s exciting to win a competition,” Roper added, “but at the end of the day the real winners are the patients who will be helped by these lifesaving gifts.”

The CAA Blood Challenge was developed by the conference presidents as a fun way to emphasize the critical importance of donating blood. Each CAA institution worked with its local blood service center and designated one day during the fall term to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. Student groups, faculty, staff and alumni were all encouraged to participate.

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