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San Diego Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI

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Some history and information on this year's popular life-saving event. Join the team in donating.

Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI is right around the corner and you're invited. This year's event takes place on Tuesday, November 25th, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. It is regarded as one of the most successful life-saving local events.

The Chargers Blood Drive began serendipitously in November 1979 when then-Chargers placekicker Rolf Benirschke (pictured), who was suffering from life-threatening ulcerative colitis, required over 80 pints of blood during two surgeries over the course of eight days. The Chargers immediately responded by teaming up with Benirschke and the Blood Bank to involve the community in donating blood to help save lives such as Benirschke's, who later became the NFL Man of the Year in 1983.

Since its inception, the program has collected more than 73,000 pints of blood and has helped 219,000 patients. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized the event as the world's largest single-day, single-location blood drive in 1993. Today the Chargers Blood Drive continues to grow and help those in need.

In addition to giving blood, attendees are invited to meet Chargers players, interact with an expanded "Wellness Zone," receive blood typing, and enjoy live music, activities, food sampling, and much more. There will also be a special VIP Meet and Greet where guests may enjoy exclusive opportunities to hang out with Chargers players, Chargers Girls, and perhaps hear Benirschke's inspiring story in his own words.

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 3 to 12 years, and free for children age 2 and under. Proceeds help pay for a new blood mobile. Refunds for admission price and parking validations are available for blood donors after they donate.

For general information about the Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call 619-296-6393.