I have some excellent news. We have sold a little over 500 of the 600 tickets we hope to give to underprivileged kids to attend Blazersedge Night at the Garden on March 22nd against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Every year we get letters from teachers, principals, counselors, school board administrators, group home leaders, after-school program coordinators, and other folks who work with kids asking--almost timidly--if we could possibly find tickets for the kids they work with. This goes beyond any aid a school or government gives. This is an incredibly special moment for them...the chance to cheer, the chance to do something that most of us take for granted, the chance to be part of something beyond themselves, the chance to believe that something good really can come from a world of strangers who don't seem to notice them. The adults that work with these kids almost become like kids themselves when we give them that answer, "Yes, we have tickets for you." They can hardly believe it's that easy. They can hardly believe someone would actually do this...for free, for nothing. They get the delight of telling their kids, young folks for whom "news" usually equates with "bad" or "disappointing" that they get to go to a Blazer game! They get to hear the screams, see the jumping up and down, experience the smiles and hugs. They get to know, as the kids do, that someone knows and someone cares. No strings attached...they're going because every kid should be able to go to a Blazers game at least once. It's something you never forget.
Oh, and those adults, almost without fail, ask how they can purchase their own tickets to the event as they bring their kids. When we tell them that we provide tickets for them and the chaperons too, free of charge, because they work hard without recognition to make life better for these kids...when we tell them that they deserve it too...when we tell them that we want them to have a fun and glorious time right beside their students courtesy of our readers, that's when many of them start crying. No joke.
As for us, we never forget these Blazersedge Nights. Section upon section gets filled with hundreds of kids, wide-eyed and disbelieving at first, cheering their hearts out later, rising up with every dunk or made shot by the fourth quarter like they were born to be there. We get to see t-shirts and signs. We get to hear the "thank you's" echoed in the applause and bedlam of hearts united and let loose for one night, spilling down on that court, rising and falling with the guys in white, red, and black. And heaven forbid that free pizza be distributed in one of the Blazersedge sections or the arena camera gets pointed that way. You have not seen jumping and dancing until you've seen 80-100 kids doing it all together on the Jumbotron. It's like the antidote for all of those corporate account seats that everybody complains about in the lower bowl. It turns us all into kids again, remembering what it's like to be that free and alive. You recall when you were 10 or 14 or 17 and your parents took you to your first game. And then you stop and realize that barely any of these hundreds upon hundreds of kids would have gotten to do this unless we had taken a moment to give them this gift. We'll never know all their names or faces or stories but we do know that quietly and without thought of recompense, we did something that mattered.
All it takes to make this happen is $14. That's the price to send one kid who otherwise wouldn't be able to go. If you can send more or give more, that's great. But I'm thinking everyone who's held back until now could probably scrape together $14. One less dinner out maybe? One box of mac and cheese on a Tuesday night instead of a full meal? One night of renting a movie with your sweetie or watching an old favorite instead of going out to the theater? One less beer at the Rose Garden when you go to the game? Any of those would save the price of a ticket.
We have 100-ish tickets to go. We also have people sending requests to this day. We have never told anyone "no". Help us keep that streak alive and send all the kids, all the classes, all the crossing-fingers-and-hoping adults that ask us to help.
The hard deadline is February 27th. That's 11 days from today. That's how long we have to purchase those last 100 tickets before the Blazers take them out of our reserve pile and put them on sale to the general public.
To all of you who have given so generously with the first 500 tickets--and there have been a number of astonishing gifts--thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To those who haven't found their way to help yet, please don't wait. Help us do this. It's what makes us a great community. It's what defines us as Blazer fans. Why wait? How cool it would be to announce tomorrow that we have done it! I'm waiting for that day, and so are 600 eager kids.
Here's how to help:
If you want to buy tickets directly you can simply go to:
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. Also note that you need to click the WILL CALL option. That avoids all delivery confusion and fees. The tickets just stay with the Blazers and go to us.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 near our sections you can always call Lisa Swan at 503-963-3966. She will help you out.
P.S. If you know of kids in need who would like to go to this game or know somebody who works with such kids, we will still take requests. E-mail me at email@example.com and put "Blazersedge Night" somewhere in the subject line. 2 kids or 60, we're going to try and make this happen for you.