San Diego, California - There will be plenty for local sports fans to see and do when they attend the San Diego Blood Bank’s holiday blood drive, “San Diego Cares: It’s in our Blood,” this Saturday, December 16 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Town & Country Convention Center in San Diego.

The event is not only a blood drive, but also a celebration of San Diego’s rich sports history. The San Diego Cares drive will bring together current and former players from the San Diego Padres, Chargers, Gulls, Sockers and Kings, along with representatives from San Diego State, the University of San Diego, the Tijuana Xolos, the 1904 Football Club, the Holiday Bowl and the NASCAR Foundation. More importantly, it will help the San Diego Blood Bank restock its critical blood supply just in time for the holiday season.

A big draw for donors and fans alike will be the opportunity to get autographs from some of the most recognizable names in San Diego sports from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The lengthy list of VIPs scheduled to attend includes Greg Vaughn, Chris Gomez, Steve Finley, Randy Jones and Wally Joyner from the Padres; Kellen Winslow, Kris Dielman, Ed White and Rolf Benirschke from the Chargers; Ze Roberto, Anthony Medina and Edgar Aguilar from the Sockers, and many others. There will also be interactive games offering fun for kids of all ages.

Another exciting offering at San Diego Cares: It’s in our Blood will be three very entertaining interactive sports panels that will pay homage to some of the greatest sports teams in San Diego history. All three panels will take place in the California Ballroom.

  • From 11 a.m.–12 noon, Craig Elsten, the voice of the San Diego Gulls and Sockers will host a panel during which representatives from both of those franchises will re-live some of the great moments that have taken place over the years at the San Diego Sports Arena.
  • From 2-3 p.m., the one-and-only Ted Leitner will lead a panel discussion featuring Vaughn, Finley, Gomez and Joyner as they talk about the Padres’ magical 1998 National League pennant-clinching ballclub.
  • And from 3-4 p.m., long-time San Diego sportscaster Chris Ello will host a panel featuring Winslow, Benirschke and other members of the famous 1981 Chargers squad that captured one of the most epic playoff wins in NFL history: a thrilling overtime win on the road against the Miami Dolphins.

San Diegans also should bring their appetite as a number of the top food trucks from San Diego will offer a variety of fares that will most certainly please every palate. They include the Beachin’ Boba, Dang Brother Pizza, Famoso Tacos, Louziana Food and Street Chef California.

Fans who donate blood will have an opportunity to win great prizes, courtesy of The Cohn Restaurant Group. And everyone in attendance will have a chance to win a Honda CR-V, courtesy of the San Diego Honda Dealers, along with a host of other great prizes.

San Diego Cares: It’s in our Blood is sponsored in part by the San Diego County Honda Dealers, Darryl and Kathy Issa and the Issa Family Foundation, and the Shiley Foundation.

For more information on San Diego Cares: It’s in our Blood and to find out how you can donate, visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org .