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UGA, Auburn blood drive ongoing

ALBANY, Ga. -- In anticipation of the football game this Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium, fans of the University of Georgia and Auburn University will get the chance to use the American Red Cross Blood Donor Center on Dawson Road as another venue to compete.

Through Friday, there is a drive taking place for Southwest Georgia fans of both institutions to see who can donate the most blood.

"We have done this for several years," said Dee Matthews, past president of the UGA alumni club. "It is fun for competition, and something (we can do to help build up the blood supply).

"It is just for fun. We are just doing it for the community."

While generally an annual event, last year's drive was not held due to the facility's anticipated closure. This year, on the heels of Superstorm Sandy, Georgia and Auburn fans are rolling up their sleeves again.

"(The Red Cross) does appreciate it," Matthews said. "They tell us they are pretty busy (while the drive is ongoing). That's a good thing."

Those presenting to participate in the drive will sign in at the donor center on the sheets for their respective teams. There will also be T-shirts, which are being donated by representatives from the law firm Vansant & Corriere LLC, given out, coordinators say.

"I've been involved with it (the blood drive) on and off for 15 years," said Luke Flatt, president and CEO of AB&T and an Auburn supporter. "The Georgia/Auburn (relationship) is a friendly rivalry, the best in the South.

"(A few years ago) Dee Matthews and I thought it would be a good idea to conduct a blood drive."

When asked what the drive's winning fanbase would get, Flatt responded: "bragging rights."

"(The response) has been good. I would like for it to get better," he said. "...It's good, but it could be better."

Those who don't typically back either school can still participate by choosing one of the teams, Flatt said.

Those seeking more information on how to participate are encouraged to contact the donor center.