Drives hosted by local IU Alumni Associations, IUN Student Alumni Association and IUN Student Nurses Association were part of larger, annual IU Blood Donor Challenge

The Indiana University Alumni Associations of Northwest Indiana, the IU Northwest Student Alumni Association (IUNSAA) and the IU Northwest Student Nurses Association (IUNSNA) teamed up this fall to lend support to the 14th Annual IU Blood Donor Challenge.

The IUNSAA and the IUNSNA set a goal of 150 donations and exceeded their goal by 17 donations. Likewise, the IU Alumni Associations of Northwest Indiana hoped to receive 25 donations and collected 29. The combined efforts of all organizations helped the total Northwest Indiana blood drive to exceed its goal by 12 percent.

Student organizations IUNSAA and IUNSNA were also recognized as the top donating “Student Organization(s)” that participated in this year’s annual IU Blood Donor Challenger.

The IU Northwest student organizations were recognized for their efforts on Saturday, Nov. 6, at an on-field presentation held during a football game between the IU Hoosiers and Iowa Hawkeyes. Jessica Palfi, a sophomore pre-nursing student at IU Northwest, accepted the honor on behalf of the IUNSAA and IUNSNA.

“This is the second year in a row that IU Northwest student organizations have represented well in the IU Blood Donor Challenge,” said Paulette LaFata-Johnson, director of Alumni Relations at IU Northwest. “Last year (2009), the IUNSAA and IUNSNA were the overall challenge winners.

“And, this year, exceeding our goal by 12 percent is impressive,” LaFata-Johnson continued. “This truly showcases what we can accomplish when we all work together for such a great cause.”

The Blood Donor Challenge began in 1997 as the IU versus Purdue Blood Donor Challenge in the Indianapolis area. In the first 12 years, IU and Purdue raised more than 49,000 units of blood. In 2009, the challenge became the IU Blood Donor Challenge and IU alone raised more than 3,000 units. Each unit of blood can save up to three lives, so potentially 156,000 lives have been saved over 13 years of the challenge.

“We are so grateful to the generous blood donors, volunteers and supporters who made this year’s IU Blood Donor Challenge possible,” said J Thomas Forbes, executive director of the IU Alumni Association. “Together, we contributed 3,766 ‘pints of life’ to our community.”

The Blood Donor Challenge was made possible through the collaboration of the IU Alumni Association with the American Red Cross, Indiana Blood Center, South Bend Medical Foundation, Heartland Blood Center, and the Richmond Community Blood Center in Indiana; and the Hoxworth Blood Center in Ohio.

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