HONESDALE – The Lemnitzer Armory will host the “Battle of the Sexes” Blood Donor Challenge Tuesday, Feb. 10 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The American Red Cross, the Honesdale Rotary and Bold Gold Media have joined forces to host the annual drive.

Last year, the men won the battle, but both sides claimed victory as 104 units of blood were collected for patients, hospitals and transfusion centers.

“It's a fun event, but you're making a difference in a patient's life, especially during this time of year,” said Colin Riccobon, Red Cross Communications Program Manager. “They [Rotary and Bold Gold] do a really great job with it.”

He added that one unit of blood can help save up to three lives, so 104 units helped a lot.

Typically, blood donations decline during the winter months because of inclement weather and regular donors being sick.

Last month, about 230 Red Cross blood drives in 23 states were canceled because of winter storms, resulting in nearly 7,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations.

Riccobon said some of the cancellations came regionally as well.

“No matter how many inches fall or how low temperatures go, the need for blood is constant,” stated Riccobon. “Here's an opportunity where everyone wins. It may be a competition, but the real winners are those who need blood such as patients in hospitals.”

He added we can't predict the future, the weather or when people get sick.

“This time of year has always generated a lot of excitement,” Riccobon said. “We really encourage people to roll up their sleeves and donate blood.

“It doesn’t take a lot of time and doesn’t cost anything to roll up your sleeve and become an everyday hero.”

Riccobon added the American Red Cross is grateful to Bold Gold and the Rotary for creating awareness of the need for donations.

“We like to have fun at Bold Gold Media Group while helping the community at the same time,” said Michael G. Stanton, Director of Operations & Sales for NEPA. “Men vs. Women with the winner being anyone needing blood, and everyone that donates blood will be entered to win some cool prizes too.”

The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to donate, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative.

All presenting blood donors are eligible to win the grand prize: a two-night Mountain Escape for four at Woodloch Pines Resort. (Prizes are non transferable and not redeemable for cash)

All presenting blood donors are also eligible to win: a day at Woodloch Spa which includes a cut & color, manicure and pedicure. (Prizes are non transferable and not redeemable for cash)

Door prizes (each hour): $50 gas cards from Highhouse energy & certificates for wheel alignments from Firmstone Service Station; a Mother’s bucket full of car cleaning supplies from A&A Auto.

To make an appointment to donate blood, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit: www.redcrossblood.org. You can also download the “Blood Donor App” from your phone to schedule your blood donation.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call -800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Information from a release was used in the construction of this article.