UNION COUNTY — Union County High School is squaring off against Gaffney High School in a battle that involves points scored on the football field and pints of blood donated before Friday’s game.
The Yellow Jackets will host the Indians at the Union County Stadium Friday evening for the Week 1 game of the 2016 season.
Before the teams hit the field, another UCHS vs Gaffney competition will have already taken place, one that requires participants to literally roll up their sleeves.
Union County Career Center Health Science Teacher Donna Pendleton announced Tuesday that Union County High School is teaming up with The Blood Connection to hold a blood drive at the high school and at the stadium on Friday. Pendleton said that, like Friday’s football game, the blood drive pits UCHS against Gaffney.
“Our goal is to get more pints of blood than Gaffney get points on the field,” Pendleton said. “We want to beat Gaffney and help our community at the same time.”
To do that, Pendleton said Friday’s blood drive will be held in two parts, with the first part taking place in Room 600 at the high school where The Blood Connection will be collecting blood from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Pendleton said that all but 18 of the time slots for donating blood have already been reserved by donors including 10 double donors, persons who will donate two units of blood instead of just one. She said that while most of the slots have been taken persons who want to donate blood during that time but have not reserved a slot can still come in and donate.
The second part of the blood drive will take place at the stadium from 4-7 p.m. Pendleton said this will be for those who want to arrive early for the game in order to tailgate. She said that while a person can reserve a time slot to donate at the stadium, walk-ins are welcome as well. Reserving a time slot, however, will let give The Blood Connection some idea of how many donors there will be and how many personnel they need to deploy to the scene.
Persons who want to reserve a time slot to donate blood may call 864-429-1765.
In order to donate blood you must have photo identification or a TBC Donor Card.
In addition to helping out the community and beating Gaffney, those who donate blood Friday will each receive a $10 Walmart gift card from The Blood Connection.
They will also receive 1,000 TBC Reward Points. Pendleton said a donor who receives those points can go online and redeem them for additional gift cards.
While the main goals of the UCHS blood drive is to help the community and to beat Gaffney, there is a third goal that, if realized, could help some high school students pay for their college education.
“The Blood Connection has said that if we donate enough units of blood they will give us a check to pay for scholarships,” Pendleton said. “So the more units of blood we donate we more scholarships we’ll have.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.