The Portland Trail Blazers made what has become an annual visit to the St. Mary's Home for Boys on Wednesday, donating $50,000 to the school.
Here's a round-up of the event. From the Blazers.
Portland Trail Blazers players, coaches and staff made a surprise visit to St. Mary's Home for Boys on Wednesday afternoon. The team scrimmaged with the boys, played "knockout" and provided a bright spot for the boys during the holiday season.
In recognition of the work that St. Mary's has done for at-risk boys in the community, the team also presented a $50,000 check on behalf of the make it better Foundation. The gift was made possible by generous contributions from the Ray Hickey Foundation and the Hedinger Family Foundation.
"There is no better time than right now for all of us to shine the light on the critically important work that St. Mary's is doing for boys in communities across Oregon," said Traci Rose, Trail Blazers Vice President of Community Relations and CEO of the make it better Foundation.
"Our team and our staff - we are all committed to continue to support the efforts that are redirecting the lives of these young people who desperately need it. St. Mary's has a rich, proven history of success in helping these boys go on to live productive lives."
The Trail Blazers have had a long-standing relationship with St. Mary's Home for Boys, contributing tickets each season and donating more than $90,000 over the past three years. LaMarcus Aldridge provides the home with three tickets in his personal suite for every Trail Blazers home game during the 2012-13 season.
St. Mary's Home for Boys has been caring for Oregon's most high-risk teens for more than 120 years. The home offers residential treatment and services to boys between the ages of 10 and 17 who are emotionally disturbed and behaviorally delinquent.
From Joe Freeman at The Oregonian here.
"Unfortunately, there's been a little too much perspective lately with the shootings across the country," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "You come to a place like St. Mary's and you know some of the backgrounds of the kids and it certainly does put things in perspective. I'm glad for our players that they understand and appreciate not only what they have but some of the other struggles that other people have. I know that our players have a great ability to bring joy to kids. They enjoyed the moment and for an hour or so everybody was having a good time and enjoying life."
From Candace Buckner of The Columbian here.
The Blazers continued the bond with [Maurice] Lucas as an assistant under former head coach Nate McMillan and in previous years, the team has participated in similar scrimmages with the boys.
"It means the world to the kids. Can you imagine, they scored on a Blazer?" said Lynda Walker, St. Mary's director of development. "It's so sweet of the coach to have the Blazers hold off a bit."
Didn't seem so from the start. Hickson, towering over No. 14, won the opening tip and tapped it to Meyers Leonard, cherry picking in the backcourt. A thunderous dunk followed, as other St. Mary's boys, who filled the gym, voiced their approval.
"My favorite play of the game," No. 4 said, "Meyers Leonard dunking it."
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