RICHMOND, Va. (September 3, 2009) - The eighth annual Colonial Athletic Association Blood Challenge gets underway on Tuesday with the goal of continuing its streak of record-setting campaigns. The 2008 event resulted in 3,472 actual donors and 3,632 productive units of blood from the 12 CAA campuses, which represented a three percent increase over the 2007 totals and more than three times the amount collected during the inaugural blood challenge in 2002.  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 success of the CAA Blood Challenge is a source of pride for the conference and its member institutions," CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager said. "To have collected over 17,000 units of blood during the past seven years is an incredible accomplishment. The event grows each year and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and participation on each of our campuses.  I applaud the institutions for undertaking this life-saving project."

Each CAA institution designates one day during the Fall to conduct a campus-wide blood drive. With the assistance of local blood service centers, a count is kept of all people who donate blood on that day. Based on those numbers, the CAA determines a winner and presents a trophy to that institution.

Drexel University has been the winner of the CAA Blood Challenge for the past three years.  Drexel had 826 actual donors in 2008, which resulted in 822 productive units of blood collected.  All 12 CAA institutions had at least 85 donors participate in the program and six collected more than 250 units of blood.  Along with Drexel, four-time Blood Challenge champion Delaware had 604 donors, Georgia State had 367 donors and VCU had 355 donors.

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.

The blood drive dates on each CAA campus are as follows:


September 8, 2009                                          College of William and Mary

September 22, 2009                                        Georgia State University

September 23, 2009                                        Virginia Commonwealth University

September 24, 2009                                        UNC Wilmington

October 13, 2009                                              Hofstra University

October 23, 2009                                              James Madison University

October 29, 2009                                              Drexel University

November 2, 2009                                           George Mason University

November 2, 2009                                           Northeastern University

November 9, 2009                                           Towson University

November 18, 2009                                         Old Dominion University

November 18, 2009                                         University of Delaware