FORT HOOD, Texas, June 28, 2011 -- Angela Oakley and Sarah Jennings are both special project managers for the Fort Hood, Texas, Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation, and both are excellent blood donors at the Robertson Blood Center.

When each of their families received orders to change duty stations this summer, they made a final challenge to each other -- to see who could donate the quickest and who could rally more fans to her cause. Hence, the “Texas Shootout Blood Donating Challenge” was born.

The Robertson Blood Center even got in on the act by creating a large gift basket filled with summer-themed items such as tiki torches, water guns and drink mixers. Most of the items were donated by Mistee Real, a friend of the donor center.

“It sounded like such a fun event. I wanted to make sure there was a fun prize,” said Real. “That was the idea -- save lives and have some fun!”

While the blood donor team at the Robertson Blood Center did run a miniature marketing campaign and encouraged fans to both donate and take an online survey, Oakley and Jennings used their post-wide connections to encourage others to donate.

“I like to do all kinds of things for the troops here but we don’t really get out and touch them directly much. This is one way that I know will affect them in a positive way and that it will do a lot of good,” said Jennings.

Although the rules of the contest were developed on the fly and went through several revisions, the contest itself ended in a draw. A few more fans signed up for Oakley’s blood drive, but Jenning’s donation time was much shorter.

The summer fun gift basket was awarded to Sgt. Justin Caple, the new Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation special events manager; but the real winners were the deployed troops and family members who might receive the blood donations that Oakley and Jennings both made and inspired.

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