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Weekend events happening Aug. 11-13

Weekend Events (courtesy: MGN Online)

Blood Drive

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office Community Services Section and Explorer Post 2005 invite the community out for the 7th Annual United Blood Services Battle of the Badges Blood Drive. The blood drive will be Aug. 11-13 at Cielo Vista Mall.

The annual friendly competition between dedicated first responders from the sheriff's office, El Paso Police Department, and El Paso Fire Department challenges residents of El Paso to donate blood and help save lives.

Sheriff's deputies and explorers will be at the blood drive to recruit donors and donate blood themselves. Donation times are Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Aug.12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Aug. 13 from noon to 6 p.m.

Back to School

Operation Homefront holds their Back-to-School Brigade by distributing 750 backpacks filled with school supplies to pre-registered military children on Aug. 11 at noon at the Trading Post. Since 2008, the Back-to-School Brigade has distributed more than a quarter-million backpacks. Each backpack is filled with school supplies for military children.

El Paso Health, the only locally operated non-profit health maintenance organization (HMO), announced its 2017 lineup of annual back-to-school health fairs along with the presentation of 1,000 backpacks for giveaways for local students. Each event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Attendees will have access to information, resources, and no cost health screenings. Entertainment and special appearances by Super Heroes are also planned. Backpacks will be distributed while supplies last.

"Over the years, we have engaged with students and their families as they head back into classrooms," said Frank Dominguez, president and CEO of El Paso Health. "El Paso Health is proud of our commitment and this is just one of many ways we connect with those with the greatest need. We hope that these events afford everyone a fresh start for the new school year."

The El Paso Health Back-to-School Health Fairs are scheduled for:

Saturday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to noon

Eisenhower Community Center

5628 Eisenhower Ave., El Paso, Texas 79924

Saturday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to noon

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

4801 Alberta, El Paso, Texas 79905

For more information, call 915-532-3778 or visit www.epfirst.com.

Sunland Park Mall will host a back to school event Aug. 12 featuring entertainment by DJ Chris Neal, DJ Soulis and The Legendary, and Juan "The Wondrous" Rojas. There will also be performances by The El Paso Guitar Quartet, El Paso Karate and Desert Eagle Dance Team. Community Evolve will perform a special magic show and skit. Kids and families can enjoy face painting, clown balloons and a dance contest.

Laura's Productions will host fashion shows at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The event is free and happens from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about Sunland Park Mall, including a complete list of retailers and upcoming events, call 915-833-5596 or visit www.sunlandparkmall.com.

A back to school-to-school supplies drive will be Aug. 12 at Peppe's Restaurant at 6761 Doniphan Dr. in Canutillo. A group of volunteers will collect new school supplies and backpacks to be taken to poor children in Juarez. For more information, call Jesus at 915-207-5370.

Health Walk

On Aug. 12, walkers and runners across El Paso have the chance to participate in the 4th Annual Home Run for the Homeless 5K and Kids' Dash in downtown El Paso. The event benefits the Opportunity Center for the Homeless programs and aims to bring awareness about the services provided at the center. The center helps indigent individuals transition out of homelessness and protects them if they are unable to do so due to behavioral disorders.

Home Run for the Homeless is a partnership between the Chihuahuas baseball team and the Opportunity Center for the Homeless. All proceeds benefit the Opportunity Center for the Homeless and all of its programs.

The 5k run/fun walk and Kids' Dash starts on Durango Street and ends on first base inside the Southwest University Park. The race course passes through several of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless shelters. This year Chico, the El Paso Chihuahuas mascot, will be joined by a dozen other local mascots during the Kids' Dash.

The presentation of colors and national anthem takes place at 7:45 a.m. while the competition run starts at 8 a.m. The fun run and walk starts immediately after competitive runners start. Kids' Dash starts at 9:05 a.m. inside Southwest University Park.

World Elephant Day

The El Paso Zoo will celebrate World Elephant Day by hosting a birthday party for Savannah and Juno from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.Aug. 12 to 13.

The zoo has a number of activities planned for the celebration of both female elephants. Savannah is turning 65 and Juno is turning 50. Activities include an elephant bubble bath, a birthday song and cake, elephant painting, a piñata, and elephant tales with zookeepers. In addition, there will be drawings for elephant related prizes, including art created by the elephants.

The birthday celebration is part of World Elephant Day observed across the world on Aug. 12 to raise awareness about the challenges facing Asian and African elephants. The public is encouraged to learn more about the elephants at the zoo and donate to conservation efforts.

For more information on the birthday celebration of Savannah and Juno, visit the El Paso Zoo at www.elpasozoo.org.

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