It's Christmas Eve, the heart of the Season of Giving. In the spirit of the season we are happy to announce that Blazer's Edge Night, 2014 is officially a go. And what a go it will be. This year we're going to attempt to top anything we've ever done before, sending 1000 underprivileged children, youth, and chaperons from the greater Portland area to the Blazers vs. Washington Wizards contest on March 20th, 2014.
For those unfamiliar with the history of the event, it started 7 years ago with your typical blog get-together. We reserved a bank of seats from the Blazers and invited readers to join us for a game. Dozens of people participated but one gentleman bought a couple seats he couldn't use. He asked me if I knew anyone in need, someone who could make good use of the tickets. I announced that they were available and got a phone call from a nice man who worked with area youth. He could use the tickets to send a couple of those kids to a game that they otherwise wouldn't be able to attend. His biggest problem was picking 2 out of the 15 or so. So I asked him to hold and asked readers if they could come up with enough donations to send the other dozen kids in need. We got more than enough, so that nice gentleman called some folks he knew and found others to bring more students. From the very first, Blazer's Edge readers didn't show up without bringing along others out of the goodness of their heart.
Within a couple years we were topping 100 kids sent, then 300, then 500. That guy who made the initial request for tickets? He now coordinates the whole event. Last year we sent over 700 students. This wasn't a self-determined goal. Principals, teachers, coaches, counselors, nurses, foster parents, and many others contact us to ask if we could find a ticket for a particular young Blazer fan they know. Some only need a couple tickets. Some work with entire classes of kids who have never seen a game in person. We don't turn them away. Instead we do the same thing we've done since the very first year: ask you to help. Inevitably we hear stories back of classrooms transformed, interest piqued, wide-eyed kids being wide-eyed, and adults finally getting the chance to see their charges carefree and happy. How could we say no to that, no matter how many ask?
The demand last year exceeded all expectations, so this year we figured, what the heck, why not go for four digits? Maybe we're crazy to try it, but I believe we're up to the challenge.
To make things easier, the Blazers have reserved 500 seats at $5 and 500 seats at $10 for the Wizards game. 5 bucks out of your pocket gives a future Blazers fan a night they'll never forget. If this year has been good to you, $100 would now send a row of 10. If you've Christmas shopped at all, you know how far $5-10 goes even at Wal-Mart. Because of this event, $5-10 will now buy a dream for somebody who otherwise can't reach it.
We'll talk more about this over the next few weeks, but let me give you the preliminary information now. Lisa Swan is our ticket agent with the Blazers. Her number is 503-963-3966. You can call her to donate in any increment you wish, from $5 up to a whole bunch. She's unlikely to be in on Christmas Eve, but if you leave a message she will call you after the holiday. In early January we will also have our own online access site through which you can purchase tickets for kids. These are the only methods that will work for us. We cannot take tickets if you purchase them in another way because they won't be in the right seating area and we won't be able to place kids and chaperons together. Again, you can either call Lisa Swan directly or wait for the online purchasing page particular to this event to go up. Easy.
If you work with underprivileged students and youth, feel free to e-mail me at the address right below. We will connect you with our event coordinator and do our best to make sure you and your in-need students can come. Classes of 30 are fine but we also take requests for much smaller groups that slip through the cracks of normal services. Don't hesitate to write.
Thank you all for being a part of this event. How cool will it be on the day we can announce that ONE THOUSAND kids and chaperons will see the Blazers play in person at the real, live Moda Center because of the efforts of people like you and me. This is Blazer's Edge. This is what Blazers fans do. Let's show the world what belonging to this community and this heritage means.