(CNS) – The Coachella Valley’s friendly blood donation competition will begin next weekend, featuring opportunities for anyone who participates to win prizes.
Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Coachella, Indian Wells and Cathedral City will participate in the friendly 11th annual 9 Cities Challenge competition at participating locations through Aug. 31, according to LifeStream public relations specialist Dina Colunga. The event kick-offed in Thousand Palms to open the challenge, which is set to officially begin July 1.
Once the challenge begins, participants can go to fixed donor sites in La Quinta and Rancho Mirage to ask for their donation to count toward their respective city, Colunga said. Each city will also host blood drives scheduled throughout the two-month period.
“Every year, it’s a showcase of dedication to the health of our community and great fun for everyone involved,” said LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director Dr. Rick Axelrod in a statement. “Summer is always one of the hardest seasons for blood collection, so we hope to hit our 1,500- pint collection goal this year.”
Last year, Palm Springs won with 229 pints of blood out of the 1,100 pints that were collected by the nine cities during the two-month period, according to Colunga. The blood helped about 3,300 local patients.
The challenge will yield awards for a city that collects the most pints of blood, hosts the biggest collecting blood drive, and with the highest resident participation rate per total population, Colunga said. All individual donors will get a 9 Cities Challenge bucket hat.
LifeStream provides blood to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio.
“Every blood donation makes an impact. Just one pint can save three lives. If we hit our collection goal, not only will it be a record-breaking number for the 9 Cities Challenge, but 1,500 pints will save over 4,500 lives,” Axelrod said in a statement.
More information, blood drive schedules and challenge ranking for each city, can be found at lstream.org.
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