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Blood Drive

Comic-Con's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive Returns for its 41st Big Year in 2017!

Our blood drive is San Diego Blood Bank's largest and longest-running event: last year we collected 1,295 pints of blood over the four-day convention. The growth of our blood drive over the years has been phenomenal. The Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive began at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1977. That first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown, so has our blood drive. Over the past 40 years, 17,947 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees!

Earlier this year our Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive was named Blood Drive of the Year by America’s Blood Centers, North America's largest network of non-profit community blood centers, which operate more than 600 collection sites. Together, the network supplies half the U.S. blood supply to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America.


 

Comic-Con 2017 Blood Drive Guardians of the Galaxy T-shirt

Click for a larger view!

TM & © 2017 MARVEL

This year’s blood donors will receive a free Guardians of the Galaxy T-shirt and a goodie bag, and they will be entered into daily drawings for many fantastic prizes donated by exhibitors, professionals, and staff. Prizes are on display at the Blood Drive Booth in the Sails Pavilion. Special thanks to Marvel and Mad Engine for this year's shirts!

NEW THIS YEAR!

Winning numbers are drawn and posted three times on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and twice on Sunday … KEEP YOUR TICKET! Don’t mix it up with others!  The other half of your ticket is delivered by special courier to the Blood Drive Booth in the Sails Pavilion at the Convention Center, where winning numbers will be posted by the booth staff at 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00 PM (Sunday at 1:00 and 4:00 PM). Winners WILL NOT receive a text alert. You don’t have to be present to win, but you must check the prize boards in the Sails Pavilion for your ticket number.


You can be a part of this year's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive!
When: Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9:00 AM–6:00 PM • Sunday: 10:00 AM–3:30 PM
Where: Blood Drive Donor Center, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Coronado Ballroom, 4th Floor

The Manchester Grand Hyatt is at 1 Market Place, on Harbor Drive (the same street as the Convention Center), at the corner of Market and Harbor.

To pre-register your appointment online:
Click here to schedule an appointment on Thursday, July 20
Click here to schedule an appointment on Friday, July 21
Click here to schedule an appointment on Saturday, July 22
Click here to schedule an appointment on Sunday, July 23

To make an appointment onsite at Comic-Con, please go upstairs to the Blood Drive Booth in the Sails Pavilion at the Convention Center, or if you’re already at the Hyatt, ask at the Blood Drive door if they are taking walk-ins. 


 

Robert A. Heinlein

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at San Diego Comic-Con in 1977.

Photo by Jackie Estrada

- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/wca/blood-drive#sthash.Q7wmU9tZ.dpuf

Robert A. Heinlein at Comic-Con in 1977

Photo by Jackie Estrada

A Brief History of Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive

For science fiction fans, few names were as stellar as Robert A. Heinlein. From Star Ship Troopers to Stranger in a Strange Land, Heinlein was the dean of SF writers. Unfortunately, he rarely attended conventions, so his readers had few opportunities to meet the master in person.

Then in the early 1970s, Heinlein had a life-threatening illness and needed many pints of a rare blood type. He felt he owed his life to the donors, so when asked to be a guest at the 1976 World Con in his hometown of Kansas City, he agreed-but with one specific stipulation: that he would only sign autographs for people who donated blood.

Thus longtime Comic-Con committee member Jackie Estrada approached the author with an offer to hold a blood drive in San Diego if he would consent to being a guest. He agreed, and in 1977 Heinlein came to Comic-Con. He and his wife, Ginny, had a great time and Heinlein even drew a picture for the Sunday morning Art Auction.

"David Scroggy [now a Vice President at Dark Horse Comics] was the first blood drive coordinator," recalls Estrada. "We also had Theodore Sturgeon there signing his book, Some of Your Blood, which he gave to all of the blood donors. We also had entertainment for the people while they were [donating blood]. I remember that Leslie Cabarga played the piano, C. C. Beck played the guitar. It was a very fun event and Robert was delighted. We've had the blood drive every year since."