Rival HBCUs Compete to Increase Blood Donations Ahead of 83rd Annual Magic City Classic #MCC23
The Alabama A&M University Bulldogs and Alabama State University Hornets are teaming up with the American Red Cross and kicking off their historic rivalry to see who can recruit the most blood donors during the sixth annual Magic City Classic Blood Drive, Oct. 23-24 at Alabama A&M in Huntsville, AL, and Oct. 24-25 at Alabama State in Montgomery, AL. All presenting donors will receive one free ticket to the Magic City Classic football game, and a commemorative T-shirt, while supplies last.
This epic battle takes place days before the two rival football teams clash on the gridiron for the 83rd annual Magic City Classic football game on Saturday, Oct. 28 at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL, where the blood drive winner will be announced. Bragging rights are at stake for the school with the most blood donations collected.
Last year, Alabama State earned major bragging rights after collecting nearly 185 lifesaving blood donations and winning both the Magic City Classic Blood Drive and Magic City Classic football game. This year, it’s anyone’s game.
Since its inception in 2017, the Magic City Classic Blood Drive has collected nearly 700 units of lifesaving blood for patients. (A blood drive was not held in October 2020 due to COVID restrictions on on-campus activities and events.) Yet, the philanthropic legacies of promoting blood donation at Alabama A&M and Alabama State began years before the first Magic City Classic Blood Drive.
“HBCUs have long served as incubators of excellence, with a culture of school spirit and healthy competition that makes positive impacts in our communities,” said Dr. Yvette Miller, executive medical officer for the American Red Cross. “Blood drives like the Magic City Classic encourage a collaborative spirit that serve students in their collegiate and future professional endeavors, while also serving a patient population that depends on chronic blood transfusions today.”
Four students enrolled in the Red Cross HBCU Ambassador Leadership Program, sponsored by Delta Airlines, are also helping to add a little “magic” to the rivalry blood drives. Alexis Powell, a junior at Alabama A&M majoring in Biology (pre-med), Taniya Rainge, a senior at Alabama A&M double majoring in Biology and Computer Science, Alvin Jacobs, a junior at Alabama State majoring in Finance and Karsten Threatt, a senior linebacker on the Alabama State football team, majoring in physical education – are all helping their campuses gear up for the two-day competition by encouraging their peers, faculty, staff and local community to schedule an appointment to give blood in support of patients with sickle cell disease.
Quotes from HBCU Ambassadors at each school:
“I wish people knew the pain that patients with sickle cell disease have to endure every single day, and that one blood donation can help save their lives,” said Karsten Threat. “Many say they’re afraid of needles but for a patient with sickle cell who suffers with pain every day, a quick pinch is worth it.”
“Knowing that I can do my part to raise more awareness about the importance of blood donation is what compelled me to become a Red Cross HBCU Ambassador,” said Alexis Powell, a fifth-generation Alabama A&M student from Birmingham who spent much of her childhood visiting the campus. “I think some students are afraid to give blood because they are not familiar with the cause. I wish more people knew that one blood donation can help save up to three lives…and make someone’s life a little easier.”
To schedule an appointment to give at the Magic City Classic Blood Drive, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Alabama A&M University:
October 23 – 24, 2023
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
4900 Meridian ST. N.
Huntsville, AL 35811
Alabama State University:
October 24-25, 2023
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
915 Jackson ST.
Montgomery, AL 36104