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For tickets and more information, contact the Grossmont Hospital Foundation office at (619) 740-4316, or visit https://give.sharp.com/grossmont-foundation. Blood Bank now booking Aappointments for Chargers Drive The San Diego Blood Bank is now booking appointments for blood donors at Chargers Drive XXXVII, presented by San Diego County Credit Union, on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle South, in San Diego's Mission Valley area. To make an appointment today to donate blood on Nov. 24, visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org, or call (800) 4-My-SDBB (469-7322).

The annual, daylong community-wide blood drive from 9 a.m. is considered one of the largest and longest-running single-day blood drives in the nation. Admission cost to attend the Chargers Drive is $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 2 to 12. Blood donors can request a refund of their admission fee after they donate, or they can donate their admission fee to the San Diego Blood Bank. Parking cost at the hotel for other attendees is $4 per hour ($8 maximum). Donors must be at least 15 years old and weigh at least 114 pounds (15 and 16 year olds must have parental consent). Free blood typing will also be offered for up to 500 attendees, ages 15 and older. New this year at Chargers Drive XXXVII will be a “Genome Zone,” an interactive exhibit sponsored by Illumina, where fans can learn about DNA and its implications for health and wellness.

The event also will feature continuous entertainment, refreshments and an opportunity for autographs from San Diego Chargers players, NFL alumni and the Charger Girls. Donors will be awarded a voucher that may be redeemed for a t-shirt, as well as a VIP wristband for the autograph line. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase an entry to win a new Honda CRV, donated by the Honda Dealers of San Diego County. Blood collected at Chargers Drive XXXVII will help hospital patients in the San Diego community. Blood donations are especially critical at this time of year because donations often decrease during the holidays while the need for more blood often can increase. Grossmont Healthcare District Supporting Fire Foundation San Diego Regional Fire & Emergency Services Foundation has received a $25,000 grant from the Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD), a public agency that supports various health-related community programs and services in San Diego’s East County region. The grant will assist in the purchase of emergency medical equipment, including automatic electronic defibrillators (AEDs) and mass casualty incident (MCI) kits, for rural fire departments serving East County communities. The new AEDs, to be placed on all fire engines, will replace many AEDs that are 10 years or older and are no longer fully functional. The MCI kits will enable emergency personnel to treat multiple victims on the scene prior to their transportation to area hospitals. The MCI kits will be used for multiple victims of such emergencies as a school or workplace shooting, terrorist attack, multi-vehicle automobile accident, major fire, earthquake or collapsed building. Smart & Final May Occupy Haggen Store Sites Four East County retail sites previously occupied by Haggen Food & Pharmacy may become Smart & Final stores pending approval from a bankruptcy court. The sites include El Cajon at Camino Canada, El Cajon at Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa at Avocado Avenue and Santee at Magnolia Avenue. Bellingham, Wash.-based Haggen recently announced it has filed motions with the bankruptcy court seeking approval for bid procedures that would be followed to sell store locations it acquired earlier this year. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, Haggen announced plans to close more than 100 store location, including 19 in San Diego County. Smart & Final LLC, based in Commerce, Calif., is a discount warehouse-style retailer with 10 current stores in San Diego County. 6 at Sycuan Casino The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce will host its upcoming First Friday Breakfast starting at 7:15 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy, valued at $10 or more, for the 40th annual East County Toy & Food Drive benefiting the Salvation Army. Anyone bringing a toy will receive an entry form for a prize drawing to be held that morning. Cost to attend the Chamber breakfast is $20 per person for members and $25 per person for non-members (with RSVP and payment). Cost is $40 per person at the door without reservations. For more information and to RSVP, contact Sarah McCorkle at [email protected], (619) 440-6161, or visit www.eastcountychamber.org. Scheduled to attend the Chamber breakfast will be representatives from Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, which runs the Sycuan Casino and resort properties east of El Cajon. Talented East County Musicians Could Be the Next Star The talent search is on.

The San Diego Blood Bank (SDBB) is inviting talented singers and musicians from the East County to submit a video of their original song and win an opportunity to perform in front of several thousand people at the Chargers Drive XXXVII on Tuesday, Nov. Videos (no longer than six minutes in length) can be posted at a website, http://indi.com/sdblooddrive. The website is operated by Indi.com, an online video-based social network that features videos posted by talented individuals and groups who hope to be discovered. This is the second year SDBB has partnered with Indi.com in a search for local talent to perform at its Chargers Drive event. David Wellis, SDBB CEO, said one performer will be selected by Indi.com to perform at Chargers Drive XXXVII on Nov. Three other performers will receive consolation cash prizes of $250, $100 and $50. “Don’t worry about video production, this contest is all about discovering local star talent,” said Wellis. “We encourage aspiring celebrities of all ages to give something back and help save a life by participating with us at this amazing, life-saving event that helps others in need.” Viejas Casino Adds 1,000 New Slot Machines, Second Hotel Tower Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine has opened the newly expanded section of its gaming floor, including the addition of 1,000 new slot machines.

The 15,000-square-foot expansion includes a new state-of-the-art promotion stage and open access to an ultramodern escalator bank that leads to a new hotel tower, opening this week. “This marks the first step in our most ambitious plan of growth to date,” said Viejas Tribal Chairman Robert Welch.

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