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Weekend blood drive draws new donors with free Kings tickets

Updated Feb. 23, 1:05 p.m.–
Over the weekend, local blood donors were able to pick up a pair of free tickets to a Sacramento Kings game in exchange for giving a pint of blood at one of the “bloodmobile” stations in the Sunrise Mall parking lot.

Sunrise mall blood drive, blood source. Photo by Luke Otterstad
Signs out on Sunrise Boulevard advertise BloodSource’s weekend blood drive.

“So many times you’re asked to give money for so many different things,” said BloodSource’s Gayle Graves, who was out welcoming people and giving donors free ticket vouchers, Friday. “This doesn’t cost you a thing, it just costs an hour of your time.”

According to staff, the first 6 hours on Friday drew over 100 pints of blood, along with “quite a few” new donors — which Graves credits to the Kings ticket promotional, as well as heavy visibility out at the Mall.

That visibility is what 25-year-old Samantha Stone said drew her out to a bloodmobile during the weekend drive.

“I actually didn’t even know about it,” said Stone, who has donated several times in the past. “I just saw the signs driving by and decided to stop.”

According to the organization’s website, BloodSource is a Sacramento-based nonprofit primarily serving over 40 hospitals and 30 counties in Northern and Central California — and it holds several blood drives at the Sunrise Mall each year to help keep supplies up.

Each blood donation helps save “at least three lives,” according to Graves, fitting with the message on the side of her bloodmobiles: “Give us an hour. Save a life.”

The weekend event was was held on February 20-22 in the Elephant Bar parking lot, and is one of four blood drives conducted each year at the Mall, according to Graves.

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