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37th Annual Chargers Blood Drive

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The San Diego Chargers Blood Drive is always a wonderful and worthwhile event, no matter how good or bad the team is performing. Sure you can meet players and get autographs, but you can also save 2-3 lives by donating blood.

Chargers Blood Drive 2014
Chargers Blood Drive 2014
Jeff Siniard

I get it.

The 2015 calendar year may in fact be one of the most wretched in Chargers history.

As frustrated as we are with the team's on-field performance, and the franchise's potential relocation to Los Angeles, we all have a chance to forget about all of that garbage on Tuesday.

As has been the custom for many years now, the Chargers and San Diego Blood Bank are hosting the 37th Annual Chargers Blood Drive at the Town and Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

In 1979, Chargers PK Rolf Benirshke collapsed on a team flight returning from a September game against the New England Patriots. He required 2 surgeries to deal with a case of ulcerative colitis, which was life-threatening at the time, and eventually cost him the remainder of the 1979 season.

These 2 surgeries eventually used over 80 pints of blood, and resulted in the Chargers teaming with the San Diego Blood Bank to launch the Chargers Blood Drive.

Benirschke's weight dropped to 123 pounds. He first returned to the field as an honorary captain on November 18th, 1979, before the Chargers' home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

37 years later, this tradition continues in San Diego. It's one of the best examples of how a professional sports franchise and its community can work to each other's benefit.

Admission to the blood drive is $5 per adult, and $1 for children ages 2-12. Blood donors will have their admission fee refunded (or may be donated to the Blood Bank). Last year, over 1,000 units of blood were collected thanks to the generosity of the San Diego community.

Here's another picture from last year's drive.

King and I

Chargers Blood Drive 2014. Your author with Chargers' LT King Dunlap.

Click on the link for more information regarding the Blood Drive, including donor eligibility requirements. The Blood Drive is scheduled from 9 AM until 6 PM. You can also call the San Diego Blood Bank at (619) 469-7322 for information.

Hope to see some of you there.