The Oregonian had a wonderful article on May 15, 2014 about the Portland Trailblazers centered on a photo of the five Blazers starters sitting together in the final moments of their season. The players all spoke about what that picture symbolized. Each player brought up elements teamwork, camaraderie, and determination when facing adversity. The Blazers were there to pick each other up through adversity just like the kids of Active Children Portland this season. “If anyone was ever struggling to learn a basketball skill they were constantly encouraging and empowering one another,” said Coach Carlen Washington from Active Children Portland’s Respect basketball program.
It should come as no surprise that the Trailblazers set this example because Damian Lillard’s Respect Pledge is the foundation of Active Children Portland’s “Respect” after school basketball program that runs for 10 weeks in the winter. It is a special treat for the kids of Active Children Portland to see that Lillard and his teammates have done more than just talk about the “Respect Pledge,” they live it! The example they set for the Portland Community and Active Children Portland’s young athletes is tremendous and makes us here at Active Children Portland truly proud to be sponsored by the Portland Trailblazers.
Beyond allowing Active Children Portland to run the “Respect” after school basketball program, the Blazers allow Active Children Portland to be one of the five partners that operate their 50/50 Raffle. The 50/50 Raffle with the help of our wonderful volunteers, will be providing Active Children Portland with more than 40,000 dollars this year. The raffle money will be used to double the number of schools we will provide our “Respect” basketball program to next year. The blazers playoff run allowed us to reward a few of our most consistent volunteers with the opportunity to have seats in the Moda Center for second half of the game, after selling raffle tickets for the first half. Tony Lamb, one of those volunteers, said that “selling tickets during the playoffs was amazing! It’s so fun to be able to feed off that energy and help a great cause.”
The Portland trailblazers epitomized the type of community that Portland is throughout both the regular season and the post season. The season may have come to an end, but it was capped off in fantastic fashion with a shot that every Portlander will remember for quite some time as Damian Lillard lifted the Trailblazers into the second round of the playoffs. Active Children Portland would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Portland Trailblazers on a fantastic season, and thank them for all the support they gave to the launch of our “Respect” basketball program.