A few months ago we announced our intention to send 2000 underprivileged kids from the Portland area to see Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers face Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76’ers on March 9th of this year. As long-time readers of the site know, this is an annual event for us...the 10th Anniversary of the first Blazer’s Edge Night, in fact. Over that decade we’ve sent thousands of kids to their first Trail Blazers game, creating a sense of normalcy and participation for them and the adults who work with them, fostering the next generation of Trail Blazers fans.
Even if most of us don’t go to see the Blazers play, at least we have the option. We have the resources to walk up to the box office, purchase tickets online...some of us could even grab a flight to the nearest arena and enjoy our team. For some kids—many of whom live mere miles from the Moda Center—that opportunity is so far away it might as well be on another planet. Even if they had the financial resources to purchase a ticket (which most of the kids we’re talking about don’t) who would go with them? How could they share the experience? Where’s the safety, the welcome, the building of community? Few of us attend games alone. Seeing the Blazers is a bonding experience with family and friends. Imagine how your life and your fandom would change if you never had the chance.
That’s why we do this. We don’t just send one or two young folks in isolation. We say yes to entire classrooms, shelters, sports teams, foster families...anyone in need from lower income districts. We send teachers and counselors, parents and siblings, creating community around these kids. It’s not just a night, it’s a bridge to a more connected, warmer world.
Here’s the thing: this doesn’t happen without you. We have no corporate sponsors, no billionaire backing. This is Blazer’s Edge readers, by ones and twos, buying tickets to send kids until we’ve reached 2000. I’ve already had correspondence from plenty of adults who work with youth, asking if they can come this year. The deadline for ticket purchase is about three weeks away. If we don’t help this happen, they can’t.
If you’re reading this, can you please donate a ticket or two at least? If you can do 10 or 50 that’s great too, but if every daily reader donated a single ticket we’d be 10-20 times over what we need. It’s $9 to you and me, maybe $15. To one of these kids who get to go, it’s priceless. Even if you go to the deepest of discount stores, you can’t buy the happiness this gift provides for yourself...not for that kind of money. But you can share that happiness with someone else.
Tickets can be purchased online by going to the Blazers’ website through this link: http://www.rosequarter.com/blazersedge/
Use the order code: BLAZERSEDGE
TICKETS ARE AUTOMATICALLY DONATED IF YOU PURCHASE THEM IN THIS MANNER.
If you don’t wish to order online, you may call ticket rep Alec Botts at 503.963.3926.
Tickets are available at multiple price levels, allowing you to donate as many or few as you wish within your budget. Prices range from $9 to $25 per ticket.
Deadline for ordering tickets is February 3rd, but we hope to have them ready before then.
If you work with underprivileged children or youth, the process for requesting tickets is greatly simplified this year. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We’re eager to help you see a game!