This Tuesday, The San Diego Chargers will host their 37th Annual Blood Drive to benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. The centerpiece of the team’s many charity events this is normally a day of celebration for Chargers fans no matter what the record is on the field. With the uncertainty of the future for the Chargers in the city of San Diego, the event is being held under a shadow that has been cast throughout the season. Could this be the last nationally televised night game? the last home game? Or the last blood drive?
For Thomas Powell, Media Coordinator of the volunteer grassroots fan organization Save Our Bolts, is very aware that the stadium drama is about more than game day but perhaps no one understands that better than him. After bypass surgery, Powell depended on the San Diego Blood Bank to live to fight another day for the team he loves. Powell is a long-time blogger and well know Charger fan who cut his teeth organizing toy drives and special events for a four-year-old Charger fan with terminal cancer named Killy. “The blood collected at the blood drive is crucial to hospital patients around San Diego, and for myself it was critical to my recovery from a femoral bypass. It is one way the Chargers help save lives in San Diego.”
According to the blood banks, Chargers Drive in 2014 was attended by more than 3,500 San Diegans, who donated an impressive 1,091 units of blood, an increase from 2013. First-time donors totaled 307 in 2014. Over the past 36 years, the drive has collected more than 72,000 pints of blood.
“It is an event Chargers fans look forward to all year,” said David Agranoff of Save Our Bolts. “If the Chargers leave for LA this event could not happen, it is collateral damage in the three-city stadium drama, one that is not discussed enough. The Spanos family and the organization has been a charitable force in this city. The fight to Save Our Bolts goes beyond game day, it is about the community. This tradition started before the Spanos family bought the team, we ask citizens, football fans or not, to see this point.”
The Chargers Drive XXXVII goes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 24, at the Town and Country Resort Hotel & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle South, in San Diego’s Mission Valley area. Make an appointment today to donate blood on Nov. 24, visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org, or call (800) 4-My-SDBB (469-7322).
Members of Save Our Bolts will be at the event off and on all day and available for live or recorded interviews. For more details, follow us on Twitter @SaveOurBoltsSD.