Two local Bruin fans demonstrated their loyalty to UCLA with a combined $30,000 donation given to the at a small ceremony Tuesday.
Usually when Peter Heumann of Calabasas and Howie Neftin of Westlake Village are on campus they're attending a basketball game or other sporting event, but Tuesday they instead rolled up their sleeves to donate blood after presenting checks to the center.
"To be here at UCLA is too good to be true," said Neftin, owner of Neftin Volkwagen.
Heumann raised $20,000 for the UCLA center through the City of Angels Fun Ride, sponsored by Volkswagen of America. Neftin Volkswagen donated an additional $10,000 to the center. The philanthropic goal of the 2011 bike ride was to buy a new truck for the UCLA Medical Center's mobile blood donation program. The truck transports beds and equipment to donation sites all over the Los Angeles area.
Heumann is a regular donor at UCLA and actively supports blood donation collection in Los Angeles. He was originally inspired to the cause when a friend's children were diagnosed with cancer, he said. Neftin and Heumann have supported a mobile blood donation program for Children's Hospital Los Angeles over the years through car donations, financial contributions and units of blood.
UCLA's mobile blood donation program collects about 20,000 units of blood annually. About 50 percent of all units of blood used at UCLA hospitals come from the program.
"Blood really is the most important part of medicine and nobody talks about it," Heumann said Tuesday at the center. "It's the fuel that drives miracles in medicine."