The Central California Blood Center says Thursday's drive is vital to keeping up supplies to area hospitals. Just last month the center reported a critical blood shortage.
Rodeo organizers say the blood drive is just one way the rodeo is contributing to the community. Mark Thompson, Clovis Rodeo Assoc. President, says "We donate or are associated with about 16 to 18 other non-profit organizations, which we are, and we end up putting about 100-thousand dollars back into the community."
The Clovis Rodeo is celebrating its 94th year. More than 500 riders, wrestlers, and ropers have come from all over the world to compete.
The rodeo takes place over the next four days: Thursday night is the professional bull-riding challenge tour at 7; opening day is Friday starting at 5:30 pm.
Saturday is the rodeo parade at 9:30 am. And Sunday is the championship rodeo finals at 2 pm.