NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football team's inaugural National Bone Marrow Donor Registry drive at the UD Trabant Student Center was a big  uccess Tuesday afternoon as 150 people signed up to become future potential donors.

The campus event, designated as "Get in the Game - Save a Life", was coordinated by Blue Hen football director of operations Jerry Oravitz and football perations graduate assistant intern Curtis Powell with numerous members of the team taking part as volunteers throughout the
day.

The Delaware football program joined with Villanova University and the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) in an effort to recruit 5,000 new members to the national bone marrow registry.

Among those who registered Tuesday where Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler, members of the football team and coaching staff, UD students and staff, and members of the community.

Thousands of patients with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases depend on the NMDP Registry to find a match. Donors with diverse racial or ethnic  ackgrounds are especially critical as patients in need of a transplant are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity.

Villanova football head coach Andy Talley has dedicated more than 15 years to raising awareness about the need for marrow donors. He has recruited thousands of members to the registry by encouraging his football team and their friends to join. Talley aims to increase the likelihood that all patients receive the life-saving  ransplant they need. In addition to University of Delaware, more than 24 college football programs are participating in the program.

"When Coach Talley presented Coach Keeler the opportunity to sponsor our own bone marrow drive on our campus, we knew this very important cause fell right in line with our community service philosophy as a football family," said Oravitz. "Anytime you serve others, it adds substance to your soul."

"This is one of several community projects that our team is involved with and I'm proud of the hard work and initiative that they have shown," said Keeler. "Coach Talley has done a tremendous job of raising awareness of marrow donors over the years. The goal of our football program is to build on that and raise awareness of a great cause throughout the state of Delaware and in the region. We thank all of our fans and supporters who came out and supported this cause."

"It feels great to be involved with this program and give people the chance to save a life," said Delaware freshman defensive back Cody Bristow from Laurel, Del. (Laurel High School). "As football players, we can be influential in helping to promote a great cause like this."

The NMDP facilitates unrelated marrow and cord blood transplants as a single point of access for a long-standing collaborative network of national and  nternational leading medical facilities in marrow and cord blood transplantation. The NMDP connects patients, doctors, donors and researchers to the resources they need to help more people live longer and healthier lives. For more information visit www.marrow.org.

For additional information, contact Juliette Williams of the National Marrow Donor Program at 1-800-MARROW2 or by email at jwillia2@nmdp.org.