Giving More Than Blood

Charging admission a big change for the annual blood drive


Talk about great timing!  The Chargers, who beat Denver on Sunday, and, in the process, replaced the Broncos atop the AFC Western Division, are now inviting all of San Diego to come down, celebrate and donate at Tuesday's annual blood drive.  

Over the past 30 years this event has collected more than 50,000 pints of blood.

All you need to be a donor is to be at least 17, in good health and weigh at least 117 pounds.  Oh, you'll need one more thing this year: a $5 bill. 

For the first time, the team is charging admission, basically to give the donors a break. 

In recent years so many people showed up to take part in the festivities, grabbed some autographs but then didn't donate that the event  sort of defeated the purpose.

So, this year, you'll have to shell out $5 to get in the door but you get it back if you give blood and you get this year's version of the drive's T-Shirt and in addition, an Antonio Gates commemorative wristband. 

Donors also get priority in the autograph lines, which includes the one leading to the Chargers Girls and they'll be entered in a drawing for a 2010 Honda  Insight Hybrid.

The event is held at the Town & Country Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley - doors open at 9:00 a.m.  The grand finale is at 6:30 p.m. with the annual Chargers Family Fashion Show, featuring players and their loved ones.

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