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PORTSMOUTH -- When it comes to being competitive, Mayor Kenneth Wright of Portsmouth doesn't want to lose anything.

He says he is still sore about losing the coveted 2013 Mayor's Cup to Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. So this year, Mayor Wright is rolling up his sleeves in an all out effort to bring the Mayor's Cup back to Portsmouth.

It's a friendly rivalry that could solve a serious problem. Each summer, desperately needed blood donations take a dive as families are focused on graduations, sun, surf and sand. In an effort to address the problem, Mayors across the 757 this month are calling on city employees to donate the gift of life.

The donations are desperately needed for cancer patients, routine surgery patients, sickle cell anemia patients and trauma victims. According to the American Red Cross, a single car accident victim can require up to 100 units of blood.

Mayor Wright met with city employees Tuesday morning for the kick off of the Portsmouth effort to reclaim the title.

To motivate the troops, Wright shared with the audience a recent incident that required a blood transfusion for a teen relative who suffers from sickle cell anemia. Wright told city employees they can take comfort in knowing the Red Cross has a safe blood supply, but that donations from Portsmouth employees are desperately needed.

' We need that thing [Mayor's Cup] back in Portsmouth...we are overdue,' said Wright.

The Red Cross hopes the Mayor's Cup challenge will produce 1,300 units of blood this month.

City employees across the region can check with their mayor's office or go to www.redcrossblood.org to find donation locations.

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