Blood Drive Challenge set for tomorrow in Indio

INDIO, Calif. - A community blood drive will be held in Indio tomorrow as part of the Coachella Valley Blood Drive Challenge, in which residents of the valley's nine cities compete to donate the most blood at a single event.

The drive will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at the Indio Teen Center, 81-678 Avenue 46.

The challenge was created by Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes and other Coachella Valley Economic Partnership members to raise awareness of the need for local blood donation. Blood collection has decreased in the region by more than 30 percent since 2005, and summer is the most challenging time for hospitals to maintain blood supplies, according to the city of Indio.

The inaugural Coachella Valley Blood Drive Challenge started July 9 and ends Aug. 1. The city with the most donations gets a plaque on Desert Blood Services' Tree of Life at its La Quinta headquarters.

La Quinta, Indian Wells, Desert Hot Springs and Palm Desert already had blood drives; the next one after Indio is Thursday in Palm Springs.

All donors receive a free ticket to Knott's Soak City in Palm Springs, free food and drinks and a cholesterol screening.

Healthy people at least 15 years old can give blood, but those under 18 must provide written parental consent. Picture identification is required, and all donors should eat before arriving and be well hydrated.

For information and upcoming blood drives, call (760) 777-8844 or go to www.desertbloodservices.org.

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