Requests

I was going to print some testimonials from previous Blazersedge Night kids and teachers today but something even more pressing has come up. For those who don't know, Blazersedge Night is when we, as a blogging community, purchase tickets and distribute them to kids (and their chaperons) who wouldn't otherwise get to see a Blazers game. These young folks come from all kinds of backgrounds and over the years we've sent hundreds of them to their first game, hearing their cheers and seeing their wide-eyed, thankful astonishment as a reward. This year's game is March 22nd versus the Memphis Grizzlies and we're looking to send 600 kids. You read that right, 600.

The reason that number is so high is because last years we sent 500 kids to Blazersedge Night and we barely met demand at that. As far as I know we've never had to say, "No" to a request. Everyone who's asked, we've sent.

The only qualification for going to Blazersedge Night is that you are a kid in need, for whatever reason. We don't talk to these kids directly before they arrive at the game. Instead their teachers, counselors, principals, and other associated adults write in on their behalf. We take the names and numbers of tickets needed and then send them along.

And that brings us to this post. Last week in the post announcing the 2012 Blazersedge Night I invited adults who work with children in need to write me at the e-mail address below. Already the requests are pouring in. I want to relay some of them to you (with identifying details omitted) so you can see what they look like...who we're talking about. These are absolutely typical of the people who write us. Take a look:

Dave,

I work in a school where the vast majority of students are on some kind of assistance program. I have a class of 24 students myself. Every one of them comes from a difficult background and none of them have the means to attend a Blazers game. That's like a far-off dream to most of them. It's something that other people whose lives are normal get to do. I know you must have plenty of requests but even four or five tickets would make a huge difference. I can't imagine how excited they'd be. We could have a contest for them. I already have teachers willing to give the students rides and pay for their own tickets. If you are able to sent us tickets can we buy tickets for the drivers from you or how would we get seats close? If you can't send us tickets I understand. I won't tell the students until you let me know. Thank you for what you're doing.

So...here's what we do in cases like this. We tell this teacher that no, we can't send 5 tickets. We're sending 24 plus enough for the drivers/chaperons. Not some of her kids are going to get to go...ALL of her kids are going to get to go. No contests...nobody loses in this game. If those kids need it, we provide it.

Dave,

I'm a high school basketball coach and most of my players are doing fine but three are from different backgrounds than the others. We don't make a big deal out of it but it shows. Most of my players get picked up after the game in mini-vans and go home smiling. These guys want to stay. Sometimes I worry that school and the team are the only stability they have. It's not the fault of their parents. They're doing what they can. Life just doesn't work out for everybody the same. I wasn't quite sure from your post whether the tickets were free or discounted. If they're at a discount, can you tell me how much?

They're free. And they're yours. Three plus somebody to take them.

Dave,

I work with a special group of kids who have a condition that most people don't know about. It doesn't make headlines and we don't receive a lot of government support or funds from anyone besides the families of those afflicted. We're under the radar to almost everyone so our kids get passed over for things like this. If you have extra tickets, would you consider us?

Not only are we considering you, we are sending you.

Are you beginning to see how this works, folks?

But the thing is, it doesn't work without those tickets. As I've said before, this is not a corporate-sponsored event. This is us, our readership doing something amazing. Some folks buy 1 or 2 tickets. One gentleman wrote me and asked how he could give $500. We have everything in between that range too. Offices pool money. Restaurant staffs pool tips for a shift. College students band together and scrape up enough to send a couple kids. People who just love and appreciate the team help out by creating an indelible impression on the next generation of Blazers fans created by these Blazersedge Night moments. Thank you to ALL of you who have given so far. But there are still more tickets needed before we can say we're done.

Here is the information you need. Please, take a moment today to help out if you can. As I said in the first post, this defines us not only as a site, but as Portland fans. Unity, outstretched hands, and the chance to cheer together...this is what it's all about.

If you want to buy tickets in regular amounts (like 1 or 5 or 20) you can simply go to:

http://tickets.trailblazers.com/deals

Then type in the password: Blazersedge

The Blazers have set up this site so you can order directly. Tickets are $14 each plus there's a $5 service charge for the entire order no matter how many tickets you buy. They accept all the usual online payment methods. Note that this only works for DONATED tickets. You cannot buy tickets for yourself this way.

If you want to give a non-standard amount (like $10 or $100) and/or want to avoid the service charge you may make a donation via PayPal to the account blazersedge22@yahoo.com We'll compile the funds donated via PayPal into one lump sum and purchase tickets accordingly.

If you're having difficulty with one of the above methods or if you wish to purchase tickets for yourself to attend this event in our sections you can always call Lisa Swan at 503-963-3966. She will help you out.

If you know students in need, feel free to e-mail me at the address just below.

--Dave (blazersub@gmail.com)

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