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Students, faculty and staff can represent Old Dominion in a unique competition and by taking part in the American Red Cross Blood Challenge 2000 Blood Drive Thursday, Feb. 24.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the North Mall of Webb Center.

Colleges and universities that have the most donors - from among the historically black schools in Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina, as well as other schools in those areas - will be honored at a March 14 awards banquet at Norfolk State University.

Old Dominion's goal is 75 donors of whole blood. Donors also have the opportunity to give a test tube of blood that will be typed, registering the donor for the National Marrow Donor Program.

The university athletic department is underwriting minority marrow typings. A number of nonminority spots also are being funded.

The blood drive began as an effort to boost minority blood donations, which have been insufficient in the past due to misinformation and myths about giving blood, said Ryan Ryckman of the Red Cross. Many minority donors don't realize their blood contains genetic traits, vital to some minority blood recipients, that aren't found in other types of blood, he added.

"Once they've been made aware of how important it is, we've found there has been a tremendous response from the community," Ryckman said.

The Red Cross Challenge is also important in helping rebuild the nation's blood supply. This season's flu outbreak has kept many donors from giving blood.

For more information call 451-8090 or the Red Cross at 446-7298.

This article was posted on: February 16, 2000

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Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.