Chargers annual blood drive will be Tuesday in Mission Valley - KUSI News - San Diego, CA

Chargers annual blood drive will be Tuesday in Mission Valley

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Chargers annual blood drive will be Tuesday in Mission Valley Chargers annual blood drive will be Tuesday in Mission Valley

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) - The Chargers' players and organization have always been active in the community and one of their biggest annual events is Tuesday.

It's been going on for 37 years, but this year there is something different at the Chargers annual blood drive.

Back in 1979, a kicker for the Chargers was in dire need of blood donations after sustaining some injures that required several surgeries. The Bolts organization, along with members of the community, came together and the first Chargers blood drive was formed.

"And when the blood bill actually showed up at the Chargers desk, they realized that was a big decimation to the blood supply at the blood bank. They informally went out to the radio station that was covering our team at the time and put together the first blood drive. One thousand people showed up, waited four hours and since then they've formalized it, so every Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we ask the community to come out and they respond in amazing numbers," said Rolf Benirschke, a former Charger. 

The numbers were so impressive that the Guinness Book of World Records acknowledged the drive. 

Back in 1993, it was named the world's largest single-day, single-location blood drive, with 1,853 pints collected.

"The whole community is involved and despite the how the Chargers play every year, it doesn't matter. People come out because they want to impact the community," Benirschke said.

This year, they will continue educating the community on health and wellness, but they will also introduce a new concept, genomics.

"Your genome is what makes you, you. It's the genetic code of life," said Dawn Barry, VP of Applied Genomics. 

One hundred donors will have the opportunity to donate an extra tube of blood to have their genome sequenced.

The blood drive is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley.

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