Charger fans donate blood, meet players

CharityDiseases and IllnessesHealthJunior Seau

SAN DIEGO -- More than 1,000 units of blood were donated during Tuesday's 33rd annual Chargers Blood Drive at the Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center, organizers said.

Former star linebacker Junior Seau, who will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame on Sunday, Charger players Vincent Brown, Shaun Phillips and Mike Tolbert and former kickers John Carney and Rolf Benirschke appeared at the event.

The blood drive began in 1979 when the team and San Diego Blood Bank teamed in honor of Benirschke, who had two major surgeries within six days for ulcerative colitis. More than 50,000 pints of blood have been collected in the years since, according to blood bank officials.

The drive benefits the San Diego Blood Bank.

The Chargers Mania Blood Drive will continue through Dec. 4. All donors at any San Diego Blood Band donor center or bloodmobile will receive a commemorative Chargers Blood Drive XXXIII long sleeve T-shirt while supplies last.

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