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We come to steal your blood

U of C students second in Western Canada for donations

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The results are in and University of Calgary blood donors earned their cookies and juice.

The U of C placed second in the first annual Western Canada Blood Challenge, losing to the University of Saskatchewan, but beating the University of Alberta. The challenge was a race between schools to see who could donate the most units of blood.

"The U of C had 166 donations," said Youth Donors of Canada vice-president communications Grayham Gardiner. "The U of S took in 318 and U of A had 46 donations."

Although the ydc's goal for the U of C was 250 donations, they are not discouraged by the results.

"The fact that we took in over 500 donations in western Canada in a one month period is very encouraging," said Gardiner.

Canadian Blood Services agreed.

"The reason it is a success is because the youth recruited their peers to give blood," said cbs community development coordinator Ingrid Cook. "It's especially encouraging to see so many new donors come out."

The plan is to extend the challenge past western Canada.

"We'll try to include a new city next year," said Cook. "One day we hope to have it right across Canada."

By gathering 318 donations--more than both the U of C and the U of A combined-there may be something to learn from the U of S's successful campaign.

"I think it was very much a team effort," said Saskatchewan ydc representative James Zheng, who coordinated the Huskies' drive. "People really come together when it's for an important cause. We used poster campaigns and just some good old fashioned 'bring a friend to the event.'"

Running alongside this challenge was the third annual Bloody Cup Challenge, which is a donation race among different faculties. Those results have yet to be determined.

There is still a need for blood and student donations would be appreciated. Students can take advantage of the 'Lifebus' program, a ydc initiative that takes students from the university to a donation clinic downtown and back.

"Right now we're not running regularly schedule trips, but if a group of students are interested in donating we can arrange a bus," said Gardiner, noting there will be a mobile clinic at the U of C Fri., Mar. 31. "And of course, you can always come to our downtown clinic and donate."

For more info check out www.ucalgary.ca/~ydonors

The downtown clinic is located at 737 13 Ave. SW.

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