SAN DIEGO (Nov. 26, 2014) – Thanks to the generosity of more than 3,500 San Diegans, an impressive 1,091 units of blood was collected by San Diego Blood Bank at the Chargers Drive XXXVI presented by San Diego County Credit Union. The annual drive was held Tuesday, Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley.
Blood collected at yesterday’s drive will help hospital patients in the San Diego community. Organizers say that the final results indicate this was a very successful drive, with an increase in units collected and overall event attendance from 2013. In addition, Chargers Drive XXXVI attracted 307 first time blood donors.
“Chargers Mania” will continue on Friday, Nov. 29 at all San Diego Blood Bank donor center and bloodmobiles and will run through Sunday, Dec. 8. During this time, all donors will be awarded a commemorative Chargers Drive XXXVI t-shirt (while supplies last, sizes subject to availability). Donating blood is especially critical leading up to the holidays as blood donations often decrease with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Local hospitals can be busier and have the need for more blood.
This year, the San Diego Blood Bank added many new areas for health, wellness and entertainment. Chargers Drive XXXVI attendees enjoyed an expanded “Wellness Zone” with interactive exhibits and activities, food sampling and more. The San Diego Blood Bank is offered free blood typing to the first 500 people who were interested, which was a great opportunity to find out your blood type and not have to donate blood.
In addition to donating blood to save lives, attendees met Chargers players and Chargers Girls, enjoyed entertainment, and as well as take advantage of free bone marrow registry testing. Another highlight of the event was a special walk-through exhibit of the human heart, which is the most critical organ for blood flow.
Chargers Drive XXXVI also featured a special VIP Meet and Greet reception where attendees met Chargers players and other VIPs in an intimate, exclusive reception. Rolf Benirschke and special guests Hank Bauer, Louie Kelcher, and Charlie Joiner participated in a panel to discuss how the Chargers Drive was established, and relive the days as Benirschke’s teammates when he was struck with ulcerative colitis early in his Chargers career. The place kicker nearly died after two surgeries in eight days in November 1979 but surprised everyone by returning the next season to continue his record-setting career for seven more years. Proceeds from the VIP Meet and Greet benefit the San Diego Blood Bank’s general programs and services, such as the expansion of their fleet of bloodmobiles.
San Diego County Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of Chargers Drive XXXVI. Additional sponsors include The San Diego Chargers, Grossmont Healthcare District, the Honda Dealers of San Diego County, SDG&E, Atlas Technologies, American Icon Autographs, San Diego Business Journal and the Darrell and Kathy Issa Family Foundation. For general information about Chargers Drive XXXVI or to sign up for “Chargers Mania,” visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call 1-800-4MY-SDBB (1-800-469-7322).
ABOUT SAN DIEGO BLOOD BANK
The mission of the San Diego Blood Bank’s (SDBB) is saving lives with quality blood services in partnership with the community. Our vision is to further ensure the health of our community by simultaneously delivering related health and wellness education and services and extending into research. An independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the SDBB serves hospitals in San Diego, Orange, Imperial and Los Angeles counties. Founded in 1950 with the support of the San Diego County Medical Society, SDBB currently operates six local donor centers and 10 blood mobiles.
Donations from the community support SDBB in providing the highest quality blood transfusion products and reference laboratory services to our hospital partners throughout Southern California. The Cord Blood Program at SDBB provides lifesaving stem cell transplants to patients worldwide. Connect with SDBB on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SDBB, register for blood donation appointments, or to make a financial donation, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call 619-296-6393.