LA QUINTA — The city of La Quinta is this year’s winner of LifeStream Blood Bank’s Seventh Annual Nine Cities Blood Drive Challenge, LifeStream announced Aug. 8.
LifeStream is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to all Coachella Valley hospitals.
La Quinta is the championship winner the first time propelled by a vigorous drive at Keller Williams Realty on July 31, the final day of the monthlong initiative. The effort boosted the city past Rancho Mirage and Palm Springs to claim the trophy with 115 units of blood collected during the month.
“Congratulations to the City of La Quinta for winning the ‘challenge’ for the first time,”Dr. Rick Axelrod, LifeStream Blood Bank’s president/CEO and medical director, said in a prepared statement. “Mayor Linda Evans, city staff and the La Quinta business community have been strong supporters of the blood drive challenge from its origins in 2013. They worked hard to encourage community members to give the gift of life at mobile drives and our donor center. It paid off in an exciting, last-day-of-July victory!”
Rancho Mirage also finished with a rush with a July 31 drive at Eisenhower Medical Center that enabled it to nip Palm Springs for the runner-up spot, 107 units to 105.
La Quinta and Rancho Mirage tied for the most productive individual blood drives, and Indian Wells earned bragging rights with the highest percentage of population participation.
Overall, 724 units were collected during the Nine Cities Challenge, a decrease from 2018 and 2017 figures.
“It’s true that overall Nine Cities’ collection figures decreased from the past two years, though they did exceed 2014, 2015 and 2016,” Axelrod said. “Several months ago, to help ensure the comfort of our donors from the summer heat, we made the decision to not hold ‘outside’ blood drives on our buses during the Nine Cities Challenge. This resulted in fewer drives being held than past years, so, while we’d hoped to match previous figures, we weren’t surprised when they came in a bit lower.
“We are grateful and appreciative for all who participated, because, after all, it is local patients and their loved ones who are real winners of the challenge. And they need our continued support, so we urge Valley residents to keep those patients in mind and commit to giving blood at least three times a year.”
The annual goal of the Nine Cities Challenge Blood Drive is to create a friendly competition among the valley’s cities, their workforce and residents – whereby the motivation to donate blood becomes an event with strong participation and goodwill.
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