Antelope Valley Hospital has begun its summer blood drive to help ensure a sufficient local blood supply. It will be conducted through Sept. 21 and all donors will receive a free novelty item “Lucky Ducky” (yellow rubber duck) and will also be entered into a monthly prize drawing.

“It is so important for our community to maintain our blood supply during the summer months,” said Ellen Gaines, blood services representative for the hospital. “Many of our regular donors are on vacation; however, many elective surgeries take place during the summer, so our demand for blood does not decrease.”

Donors must be 17 years old (16-year-old donors must have a signed parental consent form) and all donors will receive a free cholesterol test.

“It’s easy and safe to donate blood,” Gaines continued. “The entire process takes less than an hour and is quite painless. The best part is that all blood collected at the AVH blood Donor Center stays in the Antelope Valley, so your generous donation could be helping a friend, co-worker or loved one right here in our community. The lucky ducky you take home with you will hopefully be a happy reminder of the good work you have done.”

The Antelope Valley Hospital Blood Donor Center is located at 44105 15th St. West, suite 305, in Lancaster. The center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month.