[Looking for information on how to donate tickets to Blazer’s Edge Kids Night? Scroll to the bottom of this article for full details! If you’d like to learn more about some previous experiences of the children, keep reading]
As many of you know, we’re sending over 2000 children and youth to see the Portland Trail Blazers play the Brooklyn Nets on March 25th, free of charge. This will be the 12th year we’ve held the event, closing in on 20,000 kids sent overall. The number of people in need keeps growing and we’re trying to keep pace with requests.
Last week we printed a few of the heartfelt thanks we got from participants who got to go last year. Today I want to share another story with you from the 2018 event. This one doesn’t come from the kids themselves, but from the adults who work with them.
A few weeks before Blazer’s Edge Night, 2018, I got an email from a person I’ll call Anna, who supervises a program that I can’t name because of privacy issues. She said she had read about our event on the site after being tipped off by a friend. She knew it was probably too late to get tickets and she was afraid we wouldn’t want to give any to her program anyway, because their charter expressly forbids publicity. She decided to take a chance and ask anyway.
She explained simply that she and her co-workers worked with youth in the most difficult circumstances, many of whom had slipped by the wayside somewhere. These kids had nobody, and it was tough. They felt embittered and lost. They lived a life wherein attention usually meant negative reinforcement. Ironically all the curbing and correcting only served to prove the point that any spark of supposed goodness was gone, that nobody really cared. At 14 and 15 and 17 they already knew there was no point to life beyond surviving it.
Anna wrote, “Please understand, we supervise our kids well. We work hard to heal and help them function. We can get them to a pretty normal spot usually. We have a really hard time giving them something good though. It’s like getting their feet on the floor is as high as we can go. They never get to reach for a ceiling, let alone the sky. We can show them how to live. Within our facility, it’s hard to show them what to live for.”
Anna knew all the reasons the answer would probably be no, but she wrote just in case we had a few tickets left over. She wanted to know if even just a few of her kids could go. They’d pick out the most deserving ones somehow, I guess?
In a story that has been repeated through the history of this event, since its inception, I wrote back to Anna and asked her how many kids she served. She named a number slightly north of 40.
“Bring them,” we said. “The tickets will be waiting for you at Will Call.”
She wrote back with two words: How many?
I responded: All of them.
Five minutes later I got an email saying she couldn’t wait to tell the rest of the staff. Please, would we tell them how to buy tickets so the adults could go too?
That’s when I had the great privilege and joy of explaining that we don’t just sent children and youth, but the people who work with them every day. They need this kind of evening too.
Every one of those tickets was waiting for the group that night. After the event was over, they sent a small thank you card. It wasn’t from the youth. It was from the six staffers who went. They talked about the amazing time, how much the kids loved the game. Behind each one of those adults stood 7-8 youth. In front of each of those young people lay infinite possibilities which we had helped them confirm, if only in a small way for a single night. Sometimes, that’s enough.
We only get to make this happen because you donate tickets. People are asking this year too, with stories not dissimilar to Anna’s. We want to make even more memories, to have hundreds more people astonished to hear, “Yes!” when they expected another, “No”.
Please help us by donating a ticket or two. Prices start at $10, so it’s not that expensive. It does make a world of difference. Time is starting to dwindle and we need to know how many people we can say “Yes” to this year.
Here’s how you can contribute:
To donate tickets to kids for Blazer’s Edge Night against the Nets on 3/25/19:
Click this link or copy/paste into your address bar: https://rosequarter.com/groupnights/
Enter the Promo Code: BLAZERSEDGE
Go through the purchase process just as if you were buying tickets for yourself.
If you order through this link with this code, tickets will be automatically donated and designated at Will Call with your order. No need to do anything else, it’s just that easy!
If you run into difficulty or wish to donate more tickets than the online service will allow, contact our Ticket Representative, Alec Botts, at 503.963.3926.