108th Clovis Rodeo kicks off with annual blood drive

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Clovis Rodeo starts Wednesday, but before the fun begins, you have an opportunity to save lives.

The two-day Rodeo Blood Drive kicked off today and continues tomorrow.

Karen Farrar has been donating blood regularly since 2003. She's lost count of exactly how many pints she's given.

"I have that 'pint for pint' thing. They've given me a couple of license plate frames," she shared.

Farrar donated another pint at Monday's Clovis Rodeo Blood Drive.

According to the Central California Blood Center, that's enough to save up to three lives. The donations also stay in the Valley, where the blood center serves more than 20 hospitals.

"I think it's great that it stays in the Valley, but the main thing is it saves lives," Farrar said. "I just really wish more people weren't afraid of it and would come out and donate. It's easy."

EMBED More News Videos

Donor Karen Farrar talks about the importance of giving blood with Action News reporter Amanda Aguilar.



Right now, donations are crucial because there is a shortage. Blood center officials said the pandemic had a big impact on supply.

"People don't want to go out and are concerned about health reasons - all very valid," said Arax Martirosian. "It is good to know that the Central California Blood Center is staying very up to date with CDC and FDA policies, so it is a safe space to come in and donate."

Eddie Deleon has seen firsthand the impact of blood donations.

Back in 1990, his coworker needed blood for surgery, and everyone in the office rolled up their sleeves.

He's now donated blood for 42 years.

"I kind of feel as if it's an oil change. I get rejuvenated," DeLeon said. "It makes you feel good that you've done good for someone."

The blood center partners with the Clovis Rodeo Association for the blood drive. It's the center's second-largest donor event.

"It's really an awesome event. It's a great community event," said Gordon Halstead, with CCBC. "We love our partnership, and we love being able to impact our community."

Donors are advised to eat a good meal and hydrate two to three hours prior to donation. To give blood, bring a photo ID, and all donors will receive a free Rodeo Blood Drive t-shirt while supplies last.

The blood drive runs from 7 am to 5 pm Tuesday at the Clovis Rodeo Hall on Rodeo Drive.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.