A local blood bank is partnering with the Palm Springs Air Museum to help raise money to restore a World War II-era seaplane, it was announced Monday.
Lifestream Blood Bank will host a blood drive next weekend to raise money for the restoration of the PBY-5A Catalina, which was used in maritime battles and search-and-rescue missions. Following the war, it was modified for other uses, and was last used as an aerial firefighting tanker from 1970 to 1997, according to officials at the Palm Springs Air Museum, the plane’s home for the past decade.
“Our organization is thrilled and excited about taking up the cause to bring about awareness and help fund restoration of this historic craft,” Lifestream President and CEO Rick Axelrod said. “As a Coachella Valley resident, I have followed with interest the museum’s quest to obtain and restore the seaplane, and feel it’s a privilege for our organization to join the museum and embark on a two-year journey toward its full restoration.”
The blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 745 N. Gene Autry Trail. Each donor who gives the code “9PBY” at registration will trigger a $5 donation from LifeStream toward the plane’s restoration.
Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are suggested, and can be made by calling (800) 879-4484 or visiting LStream.org .