Dancing for the People

By Eva Buchman, Brooke Cassidy and Matthew Krauza

Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs a blood donation. An average of 43,000 pints of blood are donated each day, and nearly 20 percent of that total comes from high schools and colleges across the country.

American Red Cross workers store and organize donated blood at the blood drive held Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. The American Red Cross teamed up with the participants from WVU's "Dancing with Our Mountaineer Stars" in effort to get more people to come out and give blood.

West Virginia University recently partnered with the American Red Cross to donate blood and raise votes for dancing partners in the “Dancing with the Mountaineer Stars” competition.

On Saturday, March 3, 11 different couples took to the dance floor to show off their choreographed moves in hopes of taking home the top prize: a trophy, cash prize, and bragging rights. This was the first annual competition, and one of the 11 couples competing for the top prize was Brock Burwell, the current WVU Mountaineer Mascot, and his partner, Nicole Riggleman.

Burwell and Riggleman started practicing during football season, but say the top prize isn’t really what’s important- it’s to help raise awareness for a good cause.

“I think for us, you know, it’s a way to give back to the community, and obviously, the blood drive is…they’re important here at WVU, and this way a great way to increase awareness for it,” said Riggleman.

“Even though we’re almost doing it in selfish ways, it’s for a good cause!” Burwell said.

Chelsea Fonner, a freshman studying pre-nursing lays on a gurney after giving blood on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The American Red Cross teamed up with WVU's "Dancing with Our Mountaineer Stars" in effort to make more students aware that they can help out a good cause by giving blood.

The Blood Drive was held on Tuesday, February 28, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and each of the competitors was tasked with recruiting as many friends and family members as possible to donate.  The final number of pints collected by each team was added to their score from the competition to determine the winner.

After the final tally was taken, 127 pints of blood were collected, which will help patients at several local hospitals, including Ruby Memorial Hospital, in Morgantown. Each donation has the ability to help three patients,                   bringing the total number of people helped by this event up to 381 local hospital patients.

Donor Resources Field Representative for the American Red Cross Adam Reaves says combining the Blood Drive with the Dancing with the Mountaineer Stars event had been in the planning for months.

“We begin months in advance… it was decided in an initial meeting in October- how to promote community service along with the event.”

By participating in this event, Burwell and Riggleman say they hope the people that donated blood will continue to do so in the future, and they are appreciative of all their friends and family that donated to support them.

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