Donors give, vie for big prize at fourth annual Beaver Stadium Blood Drive

Kevin Morooney, vice provost of Penn State’s Information Technology Services, has been giving blood for at least 20 years.

“I guess you can say I’ve become an expert in lying on the table to give blood,” he said, jokingly.

Morooney was one of about 230 people Tuesday who gave blood during the fourth annual Beaver Stadium Blood Drive in the stadium’s Mount Nittany Club.

The American Red Cross and Penn State Athletics formed a partnership four years ago to host the annual blood drive as part of a yearlong Bleed Blue blood donation campaign that offers Nittany Lions game packages and other rewards to donors.

This time, when donors gave blood, they were enrolled in a drawing that could take them and a guest on a six-day trip to Ireland and to the Penn State football game at Croke Park on Aug. 30 against the University of Central Florida.

The trip is made possible through sponsorships that include Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc, Collegiate Athletic Travel, Penn State Student Red Cross Club, National Penn, Aris Corp. and HFL Corp.

“It’s a way to show appreciation for all those who give blood and as a way to leverage fans from across the state,” said Marianne Spampinato, Red Cross of the Greater Alleghenies communications manager.

“People give blood because it’s a good thing to do.”

Blood donations help support local hospitals like Mount Nittany Medical Center, UPMC Altoona and Lewistown Hospital, Spampinato said.

Spampinato recommended that donors eat a good meal within three hours of giving blood and keep hydrated.

“I know I did it right if I have to use the bathroom when the nurse sticks me with the needle,” Morooney said.

Morooney’s goal is to give blood every 56 days.

This started during his senior year in high school, when his father needed surgery.

“The nurse said there were ways to give blood, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said.

Most healthy people age 17 and older — or 16 with parental consent in Pennsylvania — who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood. Donors who are 18 and younger also must meet specific height and weight requirements.

Eligible donors are able to donate blood every 56 days and must be in good health at the time of giving blood, Spampinato said.

The next blood drive will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Business Building, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at the HUB on Penn State’s campus to support Thon.

Spampinato said that more than $10,000 was raised last year to help support the Four Diamonds Foundation, which financially supports patients and families battling pediatric cancer.