Daily Memphian writes about U of M Tigers attending Donor Fest

June 26, 2022

Shortly after the start of 901 Fund — a charitable organization with the goal of deepening connections between Memphis Tigers student-athletes and charities around the Mid-South — founder Clay Presley was contacted by Vitalant regional director David Williams.

Vitalant is a nonprofit community blood bank that provides blood for patients at 15 hospitals in the Memphis area. The initiative hit home for Presley, who saw Vitalant’s efforts work in real time when a 6-year-old family friend was diagnosed with cancer and needed platelet treatments.

“I said this is definitely something I want to get involved with,” Presley said.

Williams said he was grateful for several University of Memphis football players who attended Vitalant’s Donor Fest Saturday at Overton Square, hoping to attract more blood donors.

Vitalant is part of a national nonprofit that serves about 900 hospitals around the country and represents 11% of the country’s donated blood supply. Williams said it’s a challenging task to get people to volunteer in the Memphis area.

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