NFL Health Update: Chargers host 36th annual San Diego blood drive



The San Diego Chargers held their 36th annual blood drive last week to benefit the San Diego Blood Bank. Several thousand fans attended the all-day event, and more than 1,200 pints of blood were donated. Including the days leading up to this annual civic tradition, the total exceeded 2,000 pints.

"This is the 36th year of this event, and I was just thinking back how I've been to 31 of these blood drives," said team President DEAN SPANOS. "This is about the city of San Diego, the good people of San Diego and all that they do. And all of our players get involved and attend. It's everyone coming together. It's very special to me and a great event for San Diego, and a good time of year for it."

The San Diego Blood Bank estimates more than 220,000 people have benefitted from the thousands of pints of blood contributed annually through the team's involvement and support.


Green Bay Packers players Sam Barrington, Morgan Burnett, A.J. Hawk, Brad Jones, Datone Jones and Corey Linsley recently visited with 700 students from 12 area elementary schools at Appleton West High School, in celebration of being selected as the recipients of a $12,500 fitness grant.

The players spoke to students about the importance of healthy eating and led kids in fitness activities to help fulfill their required 60 minutes of daily exercise.

The schools were selected by the Wisconsin Dairy Council as a reward for their participation in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program. For their efforts, each school was awarded a $1,000 NFL FUEL UP TO PLAY 60 grant from the NFL, the Packers and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, which will be used to enhance the school's health and wellness programming or to upgrade its fitness equipment.


The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF) and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association teamed up to fight childhood obesity by hosting the Fuel Up to Play 60 Mini-Combine at Redskins Park recently. Redskins players -- including E.J. Biggers, Everette Brown, Akeem Davis, Kai Forbath, Brandon Meriweather, Chase Minnifield, Alfred Morris, Niles Paul, Silas Redd, Jr., Nick Sundberg, Tress Way and Darrel Young -- led 200 Loudoun County elementary school students through four exercise stations to promote physical fitness, while Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association staffed nutrition stations to teach participants how to lead a healthier lifestyle through proper nutrition.

Following the combine, the participating elementary schools received a PLAY 60 equipment kit and a $7,500 grant from the WRCF and Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. Morris presented the grants to each school. As the Redskins 2013 Walter Payton Man of the Year, Morris hosted the inaugural "Movies with Morris" fundraising event in May, with proceeds from the event helping to fund a portion of all four grants.


In support of local veterans, Bears tackle MICHAEL OLA presented a $300,000 check to the Road Home Program at the Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush University Medical Center, reflecting a three-year commitment to fund outreach and direct clinical care services. The donation was made on behalf of Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears .

Bears alumni players Anthony Adams, Desmond Clark, Rashied Davis, and Jason McKie also helped distribute food and gift cards to 400 military families in Chicago.

The Road Home Program opened its doors March 2014 to help fill the gaps in care for the "invisible wounds of war." An energetic team of competent clinicians and support staff work to care for service members who deployed and have returned to civilian life in the Chicago area with combat-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military trauma, and family challenges. RHP offers these services, regardless of the ability to pay, to the veteran or their family members.


Former San Francisco 49er Dennis Brown attended an awards banquet this week for the Redwood PAL Golden Bears, a Heads Up Football league in Redwood, California. Brown spoke about the impact of a program like Heads Up Football in youth football communities. "I had a great time visiting with the coaches and parents in Redwood," said Brown. The entire program had only good things to say about Heads Up Football and I encouraged them to keep utilizing the resources the program has to offer."

Heads Up Football Ambassador and 13-year veteran Fred Baxter visited a Heads Up Football league in Totowa, New Jersey last week. "I can't express how much the visit meant to the entire Totowa PAL Program," said football director Joseph Tommasi. "[Baxter's] speech was amazing, and we are thrilled to be part of the program."

-- NFL Communications

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