On Saturday, Oct. 6, former Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Flores and the Tom Flores Youth Foundation, a long-time educational advocate and financial sponsor for the Sanger School District, are again rallying the Central Valley’s football fans to come out, donate blood and help children and patients in area hospitals.
Raiders Booster Clubs from around the Valley – Fresno Knights of the Shield, Tulare/Kings Raiders Booster Club, and Bakersfield Raider Nation Club, as well as CBS 47 – also lend their vital support. They also challenge fans of other NFL teams to take part. Donors can give blood between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Visalia Donor Center, Sanger High School and at the Jenny Eller Donor Center.
All donors will receive a Commemorative “I Gave, Baby” T-shirt and the opportunity to win unique football/tailgate-themed prizes including Raiders game tickets. Donors can also purchase additional drawing tickets for $1.00 each, along with autographed copies of Coach Flores’ books. Proceeds from these will benefit the Tom Flores Youth Foundation. Fans are encouraged to come out and show their pride in their favorite NFL team by dressing up in silver and black as if it were game day.
The Central California Blood Center is again pleased and honored to have Tom Flores and his Foundation as integral blood drive sponsors. Mr. Flores, a Sanger native and Oakland Raiders quarterback in the 1960s, is the first Hispanic quarterback in professional football. He began his climb to the top at Sanger High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. After graduation, he played for the Fresno City College Rams. From there he transferred to College of the Pacific, now known as University of the Pacific in Stockton. In 1958, the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian League drafted him. In 1959, he tried out for the Washington Redskins, but a shoulder injury spoiled the effort. In 1960, Flores signed with the Oakland Raiders, and spent 35 years in the National Football League, where he went on to win two Super Bowl championships as the coach of the Raiders, and later the Seattle Seahawks. Currently, Mr. Flores is a color commentator during Raiders games.
Blood donation takes less than one hour to complete. Donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 years old with written parental consent). Senior citizens are encouraged to donate, as there is no upper age limit. Donors should eat a good meal and drink plenty of water within 4 hours prior to their donation. Donors can give blood every eight weeks. Photo ID and Social Security Number are required at donor registration.
The Central California Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood products for the 31 hospitals in Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Kings and Mariposa Counties and must collect between 5,000 to 6,000 pints of blood a month to meet the needs of our Valley community.