WILMINGTON, N.C. - Donors from the campus and community flocked to UNC Wilmington's Trask Coliseum in record numbers Thursday for the Colonial Athletic Association's annual blood drive to benefit the American Red Cross.

UNCW's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) sponsored the event, which took place from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and drew a record turnout of 263 registrants. A high of 257 productive units was collected, surpassing last year's previous high by 56 units. A total of 92 first-time donors appeared for the collection.

Over the past seven years, the CAA Blood Challenge has raised a total of 17,728 units of blood, which has helped to save 53,184 lives.

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.