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Early blood donation competition sparks longtime tradition  

High schools battled to see which can deliver the most blood donations 

It was 1976. Local San Antonio high schools were in a toe-to-toe competition, but not to go to state. 

It was for blood. Literally.  

As part of early efforts to boost blood donations, the South Texas Regional Blood Bank held a contest that year to see which local high schools were “most anxious to give away their blood.”  

The winners of that first competition were Lanier High School, Lee High School, and TMI (now TMI Episcopal). Lanier had the most donations, with 379 pints. Lee had the largest student body participation, at 53%. TMI was the private school with most participation. 

The blood bank lauded their efforts, rewarding the schools with “I’m not Chicken” trophies at an awards ceremony at the St. Anthony Hotel.  

Students from all three schools agreed that with positive peer pressure, they were able to show fellow students that blood donation was a painless and worthwhile contribution.  

Drives at local schools have continued ever since, and today blood donations via high school drives make up a substantial part annual collections. Students who give at least six times while in high school are awarded a red cord to wear at graduation by South Texas Blood & Tissue. 

Blood donation is still a major part of what we do at BioBridge Global. But the organization is still developing the future of healthcare through research and development, specialized testing services, clinical research, biomanufacturing support, and more. South Texas Blood & Tissue, a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, serves the blood collection and transfusion needs across 48 counties.  

Learn more about our 50 years of lifesaving service by South Texas Blood & Tissue by visiting our About Us page and make an appointment to give blood by clicking here.  

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