Chargers host 38th annual blood drive

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The 38th annual Chargers Blood Drive, benefiting the San Diego Blood Bank, is scheduled Tuesday at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. The event will feature continuous entertainment, refreshments and an opportunity for autographs from Chargers players and the Charger Girls. The Chargers said the best time for autographs is from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Grand Exhibit Hall.

The blood drive started in 1979 when Rolf Benirschke, a popular Chargers placekicker at the time, developed ulcerative colitis and underwent two surgeries to remove his large intestine, which required about 80 pints of blood.

Team executivess called the San Diego Blood Bank and asked if they could collect donations, and the next day, about 1,000 fans showed up at the stadium and donated nearly 300 pints of blood. More than 73,000 pints have been collected over the years.

Admission is $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 2 to 12. Blood donors can request a refund after they give blood, or they can donate their fee to the blood bank. Blood donors will also receive a Chargers Drive 38 t-shirt, VIP wristband for the autograph line and a parking validation.

Categories: Local San Diego News