Update: To see how this event turned out, CLICK HERE.
Six weeks ago we announced Blazer's Edge Night 2014, a chance for you to send underprivileged children and youth from the greater Portland area to the Blazers-Wizards game on March 20th in the Moda Center. You may recall that after a couple years hanging around the 500-700 guest range we got ambitious this season and asked whether the readers of this site could sponsor 1000 kids and their chaperons. We've held this event for years but I've got to admit, heading into four-digit territory made me sweat a little. Could we sustain it? Would you guys care enough or believe enough to make it happen?
Oh yeah. And then some.
It's my great pleasure to announce that we are actually over the 1000 ticket mark. More than a thousand kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend a Blazers game--plus their teachers, principals, counselors, foster parents, social workers, and coaches--will see the Blazers take on the Wizards because of you.
I actually have a pretty funny story to tell about this. You may have noticed that we weren't as vocal in pushing sales this year as usual. A couple weeks ago Lisa, our ticket rep with the Blazers, gave me a call. She said, "You free? I have something to tell you."
"Sure," I replied. "What's up?"
"Well, I went to do a report of current sales for our usual midway checkup and I couldn't access the online system. It wasn't showing any tickets."
"Oh great," I thought, "I just told people they could donate tickets online and now the system is down. We're toast."
Then she continued, "Yeah...I thought the page was broken so I went to my supervisor. He checked on it. It's not broken. They're gone."
"The tickets. Gone. Sold out. There aren't any left."
"All 1000 tickets have been sold."
After I picked up my jaw off the floor I just laughed. So did Lisa. It was beyond belief.
Then Lisa told me she thought she could track down more in the same price range so we could send even more kids. It took a little time but she got them, which is why we didn't close the process right then. We figured a few latecomers would chime in and a few more kids could go. I don't have the final, final number yet but it's likely to approach 1100 even without us saying a word over the last couple weeks. Either way, we donated 1000 tickets this year in about 1/3 the time it's taken for fewer tickets in years past. You not only did it, you crushed it. This was the equivalent of getting the free fast food bonus for hitting 100 points with 7:35 left to go in the third quarter and a 30-point lead in tow.
Thank you, Blazer's Edge readers. Thank you from our staff members, from the kids who will attend the game, from the adults who work with them every day and will get a chance to see them in a different light because of you, from families and friends, and from me. You are amazing. This community is amazing. It's cool that we'll get a chance to show it more than 1000 times over on March 20th. Eyes will be wide and the Moda Center will be rocking because of you. We'll be sure to bring you stories from the event.
Speaking of...demand has been heavy but we do have those extra tickets. If you or someone you know is--or works with--a child or youth in need please do not hesitate to write me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org We will do our best to say yes to you on behalf of all the wonderful people who have donated tickets and made this opportunity possible. All you have to do is let us know.
Congratulations all, and thanks!