The Battle of the Bridge gets bloody—in a good way
blog by Ben Kirst • January 22, 2013 @ 4:27pm
Don’t think that the Battle of the Bridge—the annual competition between Canisius College and Niagara University to see which school collects more head-to-head athletic victories—is a heated affair? Think again, pal—these two schools are literally out for blood.
That, however, is a good thing. Using the decades-old rivalry between these two archnemeses as a springboard, local blood, organ and tissue donation not-for-profit Unyts will be on campus at Canisius and Niagara on Wednesday and Thursday to encourage students to donate blood—and the school that provides more plasma will be declared the winner.
The Canisius event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Penfold Commons while Niagara’s blood drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Gallagher Center. Each donor equals one point for the school, and the winning team will get a trophy and a free pre-game Picasso’s pizza party before the Niagara-Canisius men’s basketball game at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 at the Koessler Athletic Center (2001 Main St., Buffalo).
All donors will receive a free t-shirt and cookie from the Hard Rock Cafe.
“The Canisius vs. Niagara rivalry dates back to 1904 and is a staple in the Western New York community,” said Sarah Diina, director of marketing and communications for Unyts. “Both schools have a great deal of tradition and pride among their local alumni. Unyts already worked closely with both school’s Athletic Departments and with the basketball rivalry being at such a critical time of the year for blood donation it seemed like a great idea to get involved.”
Last year’s Battle of the Bridge blood drive was won by Niagara—the third consecutive victory for the Purple Eagles. More importantly, however, was the fact that 192 donors gave 152 pints of blood, potentially saving the lives of 450 or more Western New Yorkers.
“High school and college students account for about 30 percent of the blood donated to Unyts,” Diina said. “Getting students in the habit of donating is very important, as creating lifelong blood donors starts at an early age. Students usually see donating blood as a way to give back to their community, and saving lives is a great way to do so.”
The Battle of the Bridge blood drive is open to the public—proud alumni, sports fans and people who just really like to donate blood are eligible to participate.