Press Releases

October 26, 2004

Cemetery Used For Life Saving Initiative By Southampton College Students
Bram Stoker, Dracula’s Creator, Inspiration for Island Wide Blood Donor Challenge

Pekka Paavonpera (

Southampton, N.Y. – In an almost certain first for Long Island, Southampton College students Tuesday, October 26, 2004 used a cemetery to launch a life saving initiative – the Bram Stoker Memorial Trophy Challenge.

Along with College faculty and staff, the students gathered at one of the East End’s historic cemeteries to issue a challenge to Long Island’s other colleges to compete against Southampton to determine which could donate the most life saving blood between now and the end of the school year.

The winner, based on the percentage of donations compared to overall enrollment, faculty and staff figures, will be awarded the Bram Stoker Memorial Trophy. Bram Stoker is the author of the 1897 published book Dracula.

College Provost Dr Daniel Rodas said it was very appropriate his students had chosen to name the Challenge after one of the world’s best-known authors, as Southampton College was renowned for its writing programs.

“ Our students have always beencommunity minded. This is demonstrated through activities such as the Big Brother, Big Sister program, annual beach cleanups and various reading and writing mentoring programs. The Bram Stoker Memorial Trophy Challenge is just one more example of our students giving back something to the community that supports them,” said Dr Rodas.

Long Island suffers from a shortage of local blood donors, and less than ideal donor frequency. Only 2% of the population donates blood each year, compared to the national average of 5%.  Long Island Blood Services is forced to import 25% of its blood products from other blood centers in the United States, to meet the local demand for blood and blood products.