Big Blue Crush runs through Nov. 17

Published 9:30 am Thursday, November 16, 2023


The annual Big Blue Crush is back, offering Kentuckians a chance to save lives and one-up rival Tennessee in the process.

The 36th annual event, a yearly blood competition between Kentucky Blood Center and MEDIC Regional Blood Center in Tennessee, will take place Nov. 13-17 at all KBC locations. Despite the heartbreaking defeat on the gridiron two weeks ago, Kentucky has won last three of the last four blood battles vs. Tennessee and 11 of the last 13, including last year. KBC hopes to build on its 20-14-1 overall mark in the all-important push to boost the blood supply before Thanksgiving holiday week.

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“Big Blue Nation’s passion is unrivaled,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president of external relations at KBC. “When BBN gets behind something, it moves mountains. We hope Kentuckians can channel that passion next week to defeat Tennessee and to stock the shelves full of lifesaving blood for Kentucky patients.”

Donors can give at any of KBC’s eight donor centers or mobile drives throughout the week. KBC donor centers, listed below, are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during Big Blue Crush. Mobile drives can be found at As a thank you for saving lives, all Big Blue Crush donors will receive a limited-edition Big Blue Crush T-shirt.

Big Blue Crush was established between the two nonprofit community blood centers in 1988 to ensure blood is available for the Thanksgiving holiday week. The need for blood traditionally increases during holidays while donations are in short supply.

Donations with KBC go directly to saving local patients in Kentucky.

KBC serves more than 70 hospitals in the Commonwealth and is the exclusive blood provider for UK Healthcare, Baptist Health System, Appalachian Regional Healthcare and many others.

A healthy blood supply is critical to treating patients with cancer, providing support for surgeries, giving premature babies the gift of life, treating diseases such as sickle cell anemia,

saving trauma patients and so much more. One trauma along can require upwards of 100 units of blood, underscoring the importance of having readily available blood.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

Donors can schedule an appointment at or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Crush. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.