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Blood Drive

Comic-Con's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive Returns for its 42nd Year!

Comic-Con's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive is the San Diego Blood Bank's largest and longest-running event: Last year we collected 1,855 pints of blood over our four-day convention, a new record! 

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 41 years 19,802 pints of blood have been donated by Comic-Con attendees!

 

Comic-Con International 2018 Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive

© 2018 MARVEL

This year’s blood donors will receive an exclusive Marvel Avengers: Infinity War T-shirt and a goodie bag!

Donors will also be entered into daily drawings for many fantastic prizes donated by Exhibitors, Professionals, and Staff.  Prizes are on display at the Blood Drive Appointment Booth in the Sails Pavilion. Winning numbers and prizes are posted at 12:00, 3:00, and 6:00 PM (Sunday 1:00 and 4:00 PM) inside the Convention Center, at the Blood Drive Appointment Booth in the Sails Pavilion. Winning numbers will also be available to unbadged donors at the Blood Drive Room in the Hyatt’s Coronado Ballroom. Winners DO NOT receive a text alert.  You do not have to be present to win, but you must check the prize boards in the Sails Pavilion or at the Hyatt. 

Please be a part of this year's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive and help pay it forward as the great author intended!


WHERE: Grand Hyatt Hotel • Coronado Ballroom, 4th Floor

(The Hyatt is at 1 Market Place on Harbor Dr., the same street as the San Diego Convention Center)

WHEN: Thursday through Saturday: 9:00 AM–6:00 PM • Sunday: 9:00 AM–3:30 PM

To pre-register your appointment online:

(To make an appointment onsite at the Convention Center, please go upstairs to the Sails Pavilion and look for the Blood Drive Appointment Booth … or if you’re already at the Hyatt, ask one of our friends from the San Diego Blood Bank on the 4th floor if they are taking walk-ins.  They often do.)


 

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 [who went onto be a VP at Dark Horse Comics before he retired] 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."