Since the time I can remember watching basketball, I've always been a Blazer fan. I remember jumping around in front of our tiny TV, in my Ninja Turtle undies, during the playoffs in the early '90s. For most of my early childhood, my mother was single, raising me and my four other siblings. Five kids, one mom. She worked a ton and did everything she could for us. I decided one year for my 8th birthday that what I really wanted for my birthday was to go see the Blazers live and in person. I knew I needed to raise some money and my birthday was my best shot. So I told everyone that I knew to just give me money for my birthday. Between my uncles, my grandparents, a few friends, and my mom, I was able to get enough money for a ticket. I remember it like it was yesterday.
San Antonio Spurs. Everyone looked giant. It was unreal. My mom's boyfriend at the time took me and we sat about 15 rows up behind the backboard. I remember thinking how much fun it was to slam the thundersticks together. The arena was so loud, the energy was like nothing I had ever felt before. For one day, I was one of those kids. I got to see life through a slightly different lens. This was the second best experience I've ever had at a Blazer game.
Fast forward to college... I'm at Oregon State and I hear about this blog through my roommate. I was hooked immediately. When I read about Blazer's Edge Night, I knew I had to donate. I was paying my way through college and raising my daughter as a single dad, so money was tight, but I couldn't pass it up. The first year it was only one ticket. Fortunately since then, I've been able to donate a few more each time, as I am now a full-time teacher (super rich) ;) My wife (whom I met in college) jokes about us having $50 to our name but I HAD to donate for Blazer's Edge Night.
Two years ago I got the opportunity of a life time. I work in a low socio-economic school and thought "How cool would it be to take some of these kids?!" So I asked Dave and he said yes immediately. How amazing! Now we had to get the money to bus the kids there and back (two+ hours one way) and feed them. I set up a go-fund-me and my Facebook friends and family raised enough money to send us all...
I cannot describe the amount of joy that I saw on the faces of these kids. They were so appreciative and grateful for everything we did for them. We ended up having a few extra dollars so we bought them all a foam finger. You would have thought we gave them a new car. They were SO excited. The perfect night was capped off by them getting on the jumbo-tron. I swear they didn't stop talking about it for a month.
When we got back, reality set in quick. One of the students ended up having to be dropped off directly at their hotel that they were living in and we had to wait with the bus for about ten minutes for someone to answer the door. We knew this student wouldn't get picked up from the school so we didn't even chance it. This is the reality for many of our students. But on the night of the game, they were one of those kids, and it was incredible. By far the best experience I've ever had at a Blazer game.
The student who had to be dropped off came to me the next day with a wrist band on and said "Hey look Mr. Darrow, this is my NBA gear!" He was hooked. I urge you, if you can afford even one ticket, do it. You won't regret it. I mean it when I say, it truly changes lives for children. You are making a difference. I know it. I've seen it. I've lived it. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
[Editor's note: Thanks for writing this! We've adding the information on how to donate to BE Night. -- Tim]
Donate Tickets to Blazer’s Edge Night to help 2000+ underprivileged kids see the Blazers play the Sacramento Kings in February!
Head through this link and click on "Donate Tickets".
Use the promo code BLAZERSEDGE on the purchase page.
Tickets are automatically donated when you follow this process. You can also call our ticket rep, Alec Botts, at 503-963-3926 if you need assistance.
REMINDER: If you buy a pair of these socks, a ticket gets donated automatically!