Dear Readers, we need your help with Blazer’s Edge Night this year. For those who don’t know, that’s the event we’ve been running for a decade and a half now, sending children and youth to see the Blazers play. Few, if any, of our participants would be able to go see NBA Basketball in person apart from this event. We give tickets to teachers, coaches, principals, counselors, and community leaders who serve underprivileged youth and children. They write in and ask if they can take their kids. We say YES! We hold groups of tickets for them, then on game night, they all come together as a group, pick up their tickets, and walk into the Moda Center!
Every year, I describe what a magical moment it is to see those kids enter the arena. Look...life hasn’t been the best for many of them. In those circumstances, getting out beyond your own daily routine can be a challenge. Who can afford it, for one thing? And whom can you trust?
By the time they make the trip to Moda, they’re already in a whole new world. The fountains, the fireballs, the huge murals of players they’ve only seen on TV or streams...all of this is amazing on its own. And that’s before they set foot in the actual building.
Watching groups of kids enter the tunnel that separates the concourse from the arena proper is a sight to behold. Nothing prepares any of us for the first sight of the court, that huge center-line pinwheel logo, or the giant scoreboard. When the players come out, there are mini-eruptions everywhere. Is that Damian Lillard? Yes! It is! It’s really him!
Oh...and when Lillard actuall drains a three? You’d think the Blazers had just hit a buzzer-beater in the NBA Finals. Imagine this year kids getting to watch Shaedon Sharpe fly, or Jerami Grant hit a sweet post-up shot. When it comes to style of play, the Blazers are more exciting right now than they’ve been in years, and the kids will be able to cheer their hearts out.
But who are we kidding? They cheer anyway. Blaze the Trail Cat often visits our sections. People go crazy for him. Should anyone win free pizza or another gift from the ongoing arena contests? Forget about it. I once saw a whole section jump up and down like they’d just hit the lottery because they got snacks courtesy of the Moda bunch.
Many of us remember what it’s like to be young, to feel like that. But how about the people who don’t really get a chance to? Again and again, the chaperones who take their kids write and tell us, “This was the one time I got to see my kids as kids...to watch them cheer and talk and care without concern.” The world changes, and becomes lighter, when you get to relate to people as people, and when the people you relate to get to be who they’re meant to be.
If you’ve read this far, I hope you’ve heard what a difference this event makes to so many. People are already writing in, asking if they can go.
Maybe because of the recession, or other things going on, we’re a little behind on tickets this year. We want to be able to tell people yes, to assure teachers and others that their students can go.
None of us here makes enough money to cover 2000 tickets. But individually, the tickets are cheap...starting at just $11. Donating them is easy! You just head to this website the Blazers have set up and purchase from the available seats, just as if you were buying tickets for yourself. Except instead of going into your account, those tickets will be held at Will Call for the Sacramento Kings game on March 29th, for kids and their chaperones to pick up.
Please, can you help make this event possible this year? Even a ticket or two helps. If you can give 8 or 10, that’s even better! That’ll barely cover a large omelet nowadays, but that amount can also change the weeks, years, and sometimes a life of fandom for people who could never dream of going, except for your gift.
Please consider donating at least one ticket so we can contact the people making requests for their children and tell them they can go. Thank you so much for making this event work every year.