Blazersedge Night Update: The Irreplaceable Stories and How You Can Help Create One

As most of you know by now, our site is trying to send 600 children and youth who otherwise could not afford to attend a Blazers game to the March 22nd Portland-Memphis game at the Rose Garden. This is the fifth year running we've sent groups of kids to the game. Each year the number gets bigger because each year the demand gets greater. The special challenges this year are two:

  • 600 is an enormous number (but not disproportionate with the requests we're getting).
  • March 22nd is pretty close and the deadline for buying tickets is actually three weeks closer than that...the beginning of next month.

We don't have corporate sponsorship for this. This is the people of Blazersedge--and really Trail Blazers fans from all over the world--banding together to give children an experience that most of us take for granted but that they will not have but for us. And in case there's any doubt, once they've had it they never forget. Let me share with you a few stories from kids, teachers, chaperons who have gone in past years:

These kids are hard in every sense of the word. Hard background, hard circumstances, hard road ahead of them, hard shells around them every day. We only get to see inside of that exterior on rare occasions. When they went to that game everything was different. I took kids to that game. Every one of them was a kid that night. I've never seen that before.

Or this one:

The old stereotypical thought was that basketball is a way out for these guys. That's bull. They ain't going to make it out with basketball. They have no illusions about that. But basketball still represents that other world. It's a world they can't touch but it's still there...

You don't realize how small life becomes when you're in these situations. People always wonder how small things like insults and territory and reputations can get so big to these kids. Proportionally they're huge. When you only walk the same blocks and see the same people and eat the same food and have the same arguments because you can't afford to go anywhere else or you don't feel safe anywhere else the world becomes so small and tight. They know there's another world out there. They see it on TV when they watch the team. It might as well be across the ocean...

You allowed them to participate in that other world at that game. They saw that it was real. Seeing the Blazers with their own eyes was part of it but another big part was seeing the people all around. Another big part was being in a new situation with the people they're used to being with. You opened this up to them. You made it more safe and more possible to think bigger. Maybe it didn't change lives. But maybe it opened the possibility of changing lives.

How about this?

Most of our kids had never been to an arena before. When the time out was called in the 4th and they started playing YMCA, a few of the kids were like "what happened? why are they doing this?" We're talking about kids that don't get out to these kind of events much. So all of that is to say, this was a great opportunity, I really appreciate you sending these tickets...

Or this one...

Thank you all so very much for making this happen. For all the weather related missteps this went off without a hitch. I can't get over how perfectly it happened today for our merry little band. I was worried that people weren't going to be able to show up at the last minute but we were at full capacity of 8th and 9th graders right off the bat. Everyone that wanted to come was able.

We met up to have dinner before the game and then make our way to the Rose Garden. The guys were happy to see each other after a week off and most importantly not be stuck in their homes. Stir crazy/boredom was the big topic over dinner. On the train ride in conversation switched over to the game. The kids seemed to know the most about Oden, Sergio and Rudy. The native Spanish speakers in the group were outraged that Rudy wasn't a starter and I think Oden is a bit more relatable to the average 13/14 year old than Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. They wanted to know about the players from Toronto who to watch and if it was going to be a close game. I felt bad for not scouting out the Raptors first. My basketball cred took a big dive for not having my normal amount of information. We talk about basketball a lot at school.

After we crossed the bridge they seemed get a little bit more nervous/excited. The guys hovered around me until they had their tickets in their hot little hands. The one thought that kept going through my head the whole night was how kidlike they seemed. At school they try to be so tough, street-wise, sarcastic and generally more grown-up than they should be. But tonight they were just excited and happy to be there.

During the game they were pretty quiet...I took the seat further away thinking that they probably would have more fun with their buddies without the awesomeness of having a female teacher monitoring their language. However it was sort of a moot point because they were transfixed, that sort of glazed over staring intently look that I normally associate with video games and TV watching. During timeouts they were watching the crowd, the big screen and the DJ. The biggest laughs came from the Greg Oden question/answer video and the Rudy Language Lesson.

As for the game I had a difficult time getting them to talk about it, I think they were on sensory overload and were just taking it all in. I could tell that they were having a great time...they were clapping along with every cheer...standing up on the big plays. It was a great night a real highlight of the school year for me and for the guys.

Thank you very much for all of this.

Here's the point. You can make this happen for a kid with even a small donation. A larger one sends a row of kids or a classroom in some cases. Tickets to this event are affordable. As of right now we have around 250 of 600 tickets sold. We have less than a month to make that other 350 good for all the people who are looking forward to going.

Here's the information on ways you can purchase tickets to help kids attend this event.

If you want to buy tickets directly 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. 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 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.

Thank you so much for making this dream a reality. If you work with children and youth in need and you'd like to request tickets for this event, write to me at this e-mail address. We'll do our best to get you taken care of.

--Dave (blazersub@gmail.com)

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