LA QUINTA, – Palm Desert and Palm Springs are in a pitched battle for LifeStream Blood Bank’s 2020 Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge championship as the summertime initiative nears its August 31 conclusion.

Through Aug. 18, Palm Springs holds a narrow 214-211 units of blood lead over Palm Desert, with La Quinta also in triple digits at 106. Overall, the Eighth Annual Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge is closing in on 1,000 units collected for the first time.

Donors receive, while supplies last, a commemorative event Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge T-shirt. All successful donations are tested for presence of COVID-19 antibodies, cholesterol levels and more than a dozen infectious diseases.

Upcoming Nine Cities Challenge drives include:

  • Friday, Aug. 21: Stater Bros., 13200 Palm Drive, Desert Hot Springs, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: Signature Flight Support, 250 N. El Cielo Road, Palm Springs, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25: The Living Desert, 47-900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, 7 a.m. to noon.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: Harry’s Bar and Grill, 68955 Ramon Road, Cathedral City, 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 27: Desert Regional Medical Center, 1150 N Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome at all drives but appointments are suggested and may be made by calling 1.800.879.4484 or by clicking here.

For added convenience, donors – on the day of donation – can save time by going to LStream.org, clicking on “ExpressPass” and following the prompts to complete the pre-donation questionnaire before arriving at the donation site.

Blood donations that could have a decisive influence on the final standings also may be made at LifeStream’s La Quinta (79-215 Corporate Centre Drive) or Rancho Mirage (42390 Bob Hope Drive, next to Hobby Lobby) fixed-site locations. Donors who ask LifeStream staff to designate their donation toward their city receive the Nine Cities Challenge T-shirt.

LifeStream requires all staff and donors wear masks/face coverings (masks/face coverings with one-way valves to filter outside air are not sufficient) and submit to temperature checks and COVID-19 symptom checks before accessing donor waiting areas. LifeStream adheres to social distancing guidelines and has enhanced already strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

For more information on the Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge, blood donation in general, or to make an appointment to “give the gift of life,” call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.