The American Red Cross is hosting the annual Blood Battle between the University of Montana and Montana State University next week. Account Representative Jeff Gutierrez says this is one of their most exciting events of the year.

“Well it is going to be a blood drive,” said Gutierrez. “It is going to be open to all UM students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans. We are taking appointments if you go to and search ‘go griz’ under the keyword. That will pop it up and you can schedule an appointment. We also take walk-ins, but appointments are of course encouraged.”

According to Gutierrez, donors are especially needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays.

“We get caught up being with our family and traveling," Gutierrez said. "The winter months can a challenging time for the blood supply. It is a perfect time for people to take the opportunity if they have never donated before. It is a great time for them to do that. About 20% of our blood supply comes from high school and college blood drives and we are always looking for new donors and first time donors.”

Gutierrez says they will be at UM’s University Center on Tuesday and Wednesday to collect blood from anyone that wants to help beat the Cats.