LifeStream’s 9 Cities Blood Donor Challenge is back July 1

SAN BERNARDINO – LifeStream Blood Bank’s 10th annual ‘9 Cities Challenge’ kicks off Friday, July 1, and runs until Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The nine participating cities for the friendly competition to see which city can generate the most blood donations are: Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Coachella, Indian Wells and Cathedral City.

This year the competition takes place at a critical time of need, as summer is one of the most challenging times for blood collection. With the ongoing blood shortage, the goal of this two-month initiative is to benefit patients in need who are in peril without a safe, ample blood supply. LifeStream is the exclusive blood provider for Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio.

“The 9 Cities Challenge is an opportunity to direct a positive, meaningful focus of community energy toward assisting our most vulnerable loved ones, friends, neighbors and colleagues,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream’s president, CEO and medical director. “We have a bunch of fun promotional items and prizes for the event. While supplies last, every donor will receive a special edition T-shirt, beach towel and coupon for a free scoop at Ben & Jerry’s – The River!”

Additionally, every donor has a chance to win:

  • A 2-night stay at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs.
  • A Jeep tour for two—courtesy of Desert Adventure Jeep Tours.
  • A table-top gas grill—courtesy of Southwest Gas.
  • A $100 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers gift basket.
  • A $50 Quick Quack Car Wash gift basket.

Additionally, the most successful blood drive chairpeople have the chance to win:

  • A year (52 scoops) of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
  • Two tickets to LifeStream’s Thanks4Giving Gala featuring entertainment by 3-time Grammy nominee Taylor Dane.
  • A $100 Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers gift basket.

“The overall winner of the competition will be the city with the most pints collected within the program run dates,” continued Dr. Axelrod. “Last year, Palm Springs won by collecting 225 pints of blood. Overall, 812 pints were collected during the challenge in 2021. It helped about 2,000 local patients, which was tremendous. Our goal this year is to collect at least 1,000 pints of blood.”

In addition to the award for the city that collects the most pints, there are also awards for the city that collects the most pints at a single blood drive and the city with the highest resident participation rate per total population (minimum 1.5 percent required).

Residents may also participate by donating toward their city’s total at LifeStream’s fixed-site donor centers in La Quinta (46-660 Washington Street, Suite 4) or Rancho Mirage (42390 Bob Hope Drive, Suite 1B). Just ask LifeStream staff to count the donation toward the respective city total.
To schedule an appointment and view the participating drives, a live ranking board and T-shirt design, visit

LifeStream is a nonprofit, local, comprehensive blood bank that provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals in six counties. For more information and to set an appointment to “give the gift of life” call 800-879-4484 or visit

Image Sources

  • Former DSUSD School Board Member Gary Tomak: DSUSD