Knox County mayor accepts blood donation challenge from Knoxville mayor

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett has accepted a challenge to donate blood to MEDIC Regional Blood Center after losing a friendly wager with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero about which municipality’s employees could raise their charitable giving by the largest percentage.

City of Knoxville employees increased their total contributions by 25 percent during its 2015 Consolidated Charities giving campaign, compared with last year. That amounts to a total of $88,792.88 pledged to United Way, Community Health Charities and Community Shares.

The two mayors announced the friendly challenge during last fall’s United Way kickoff. The mayor whose donors came up lowest would be the other mayor’s guest at either a City Council or County Commission meeting.

Since Mayor Rogero says she knows Mayor Burchett has a general dislike for meetings, she said Mayor Burchett would probably rather give his own blood than sit through a City Council meeting, the city challenged him to donate blood this week.

Burchett responded by saying he would donate blood in honor of two Knoxvillians battling cancer: Knoxville Police Captain Jeff Stiles and radio personality Dave Foulk.

Previous story: Knoxville Police Department holding blood drive for police captain diagnosed with cancer

Burchett said he would visit MEDIC Regional Blood Center on Ailor Avenue Thursday and donate in a special process called a double red cell donation.

The process is similar to a traditional blood donation, but it allows donors to give two units of red blood cells while other blood components are separated and returned to the donor.

Burchett will earn two credits in MEDIC’s membership program, which he says he will transfer to Capt. Stiles and Foulk to help with their cancer treatment.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch and Fire Chief Stan Sharp also took part in a similar challenge between police and fire personnel. Firefighters increased their giving by a larger margin than police officers, meaning Chief Rausch and his officers will soon be cleaning some of Chief Sharp’s fire engines.

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