BETHLEHEM, Pa --There is fun and there is football and then there is real life, and on August 8 Eagles fans can enjoy their favorite team and help the community all in one morning at training camp at Lehigh University. The Eagles are partnering with the American Red Cross to hold the Eagles Training Camp Blood Drive, and you can help by signing up and making a difference in your community.
This is the Second Annual Eagles Training Camp Blood Drive. I'm pausing from the football side here as the team went through its mandatory conditioning drills on Thursday morning because it is so important, because you can make a difference and because the American Red Cross needs Eagles fans to step up big time on August 8. The event, which begins at 6 a.m. in the Stabler Arena on campus, right next to the practice fields, is part of the Eagles' Health And Safety Day, and it is a way that Eagles fans can take just a little bit of their time, not miss a minute of practice, win some great Eagles gear -- VIP sideline passes and game tickets are in the mix, too -- and give back to those in need.
"We thank the Eagles for helping to save lives in the community, and hope to turn many fans into life-saving blood donors," said Brigid O'Neill-LaGier, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region. "The upcoming blood drive is vitally important to build a supply of blood that will help safeguard against a summer blood shortage."
Here are some facts you need to know:
- Most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds or more are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Sixteen year olds can donate blood with parental consent.
- Blood donations for this event are by appointment only and a limited number of appointments are available, so make yours today!
- It is an unfortunate reality that blood donations decline in the summer due to vacations, holidays and the absence of high school and college blood drives.
- The goal for this blood drive is to collect 1,200 units of blood. Remember that each unit can help save up to three lives, which means that Eagles fans could possibly help save up to 3,600 lives throughout the region.
- Eagles fans can help provide a second chance for an accident victim, a new beginning for a cancer patient, or a better tomorrow for a child with sickle cell disease.
Thank you for your help, gang. There is more to life than Eagles football. You responded wonderfully last year to the Eagles Training Camp Blood Drive, and we need you again.
* NEWS, NOTES AND THIS AND THAT *
- Wide receiver Brandon Gibson didn't practice on Wednesday and the Eagles didn't release any information, so we will keep an eye on him when the full-squad practice is a go on Thursday afternoon.
- While there is open competition at every position, the truth is that, well, Donovan McNabb is going to start at quarterback and DeSean Jackson is going to start at wide receiver and ... you catch my drift. I am really looking at how things work at cornerback. Jack Ikegwuonu showed up in the five practices with the rookies and selected veterans. He knocked off the rust. Now he hits for the first time when the pads go on Friday morning. Ikegwuonu isn't going to start ahead of Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. But wouldn't it be a huge, huge, huge boost if he showed that he has the true ability of a player whom the draftniks (and the Eagles) said would have been a first-day -- maybe first-round -- draft pick had he not suffered a knee injury prior to the 2008 draft?
- Next challenge for running back Shady McCoy: Proving he can recognize from where the blitz is coming and that he can get there and use the right technique and be physical in his pass protection set. The Eagles will challenge him.
- Just to repeat, this afternoon's practice is closed to the public. We will have extensive highlights at 6 p.m. on *Training Camp Live!, *presented by Remax. Tune in. On Friday at 8:15 a.m., the camp is open to the public. The team puts on the pads and will have full contact for the first time this year. *Training Camp Live!, *presented by Remax airs at Noon.
- Nothing new to report on the contract status of No. 1 draft pick Jeremy Maclin, but first-round picks around the league are making progress, so maybe, just maybe. Keep your fingers crossed. Maclin needs to be in camp soon ...