Ducks and Beavers fans across Oregon are feeling the buzz of the upcoming Civil War game, but they don’t have to be in a football uniform to participate.
The 16th annual Civil War Blood Drive kicked off Nov. 1 and continues until Nov. 19, allowing Oregonians to vote for either school when donating blood across the state. The blood drive will come to Lillis Business Complex and the EMU on Nov. 13-17, giving students a chance to help bring the trophy back to Eugene.
Last year, OSU beat UO by just 476 votes, one of the closer results, after the Ducks crushed the Beavers by 774 in 2015.
OSU has won eight times while UO has won seven.
Each person who donates will be entered into a raffle to win two tickets to the Civil War football game, and this year’s trophy will be awarded at the game.
In the past 15 years of the Civil War Blood Drive, Oregonians have donated 102,129 times in the name of the Ducks or the Beavers. The donations peaked in 2009-2012, seeing over 8,000 votes almost every year. Since then, the competition has been declining with just 4,782 votes last year.
“Students don’t tend to have a lot of financial resources, and a lot of campaigns are about donating money,” Lane Bloodworks Program Manager Casey Zerbe said. “Blood is something that we all have and most of us are able to donate, but most of us don’t donate. It’s a way for a student to really feel empowered and feel like they can make a difference in their community.”
With the arrival of the cold temperatures and winter rain, Zerbe said this is the time of year when it’s especially important to donate.
“Once the holidays hit, a lot of people start to travel,” she said. “People also get sick and then can’t donate. As the weather can get a little more hazardous, the need for blood can increase because people get into accidents. We want to have enough for everyone in case of emergencies.”
One donation can save up to three lives, according to Zerbe.
“If we hit our goal of 80 donors a day, that’s 240 lives that can be saved by UO students,” Zerbe said.
Zerbe also wants to remind those looking to donate blood to eat a protein-packed meal at least four hours in advance, drink a lot of water and bring identification.
“We look for ways to meet people where they’re passionate, and the Civil War is something Oregonians just go crazy for,” said Zerbe. “It can make blood donation fun to add some competition into the mix.”
Follow Becca Robbins on Twitter: @brobbinsuo