Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
The Combat Center Challenge is a fierce competition between the tenant units of the installation to be the champion unit of the base.
Part of the competition is donating blood. Throughout the year units are encouraged to donate as part of Challenge. The potentially lifesaving donations are collected through Desert Blood Services and some of the donations go directly to military hospitals.
“The blood that is donated could be lifesaving,” said Charles Dougwillo Sr., supervisor recreational specialist, Marine Corps Community Services and Combat Center Challenge coordinator. “It could save the person on the left or right of you.”
Last year nearly 200 pints of blood was donated during the Combat Center Challenge, with Headquarters Battalion finishing with the most blood donated followed by 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School.
The blood drives units take part in is also is its own competition alongside the CCC. The unit with the most blood donated is awarded money toward the unit’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball Fund.
“We award prize money for the units’ ball funds,” said Dougwillo. “The first place unit gets $200, followed by $125 for second and $75 for third.”
Donations aren’t limited to Marines and sailors. Family members are also encouraged to donate on behalf of the units.
In the past three years, the Combat Center Challenge has received 580 pints of blood. Dougwillo said the Combat Center Challenge is looking for a big turnout for the year’s blood drives and surpassing the previous year’s total.
There will be 11 donating opportunities spread throughout the new year. The first opportunity to donate blood for the next Combat Center Challenge is Jan. 4 in the West Gym Parking lot.