Timbers donate $50,000 towards Parkrose Soccer Center

At Parkrose High School, Timbers owner and president Merritt Paulson presented a check for $50,000 on behalf of the MLS franchise towards the future Parkrose Regional Soccer Center.At a special Parkrose High School event this morning, Portland Timbers owner and president Merritt Paulson presented a check for $50,000 on behalf of the Major League Soccer team to the Parkrose School District, a contribution towards the future Parkrose Regional Soccer Center.

In addition to Paulson, others at the presentation included Portland City Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz, and Parkrose School District Superintendent Dr. Karen Fischer Gray, who accepted the donation on behalf of the school district.

Several hundred students at the northeast Portland high school also attended the presentation of the donation, which will go towards developing a regional soccer center at the school. Other contributions towards the center came from the City of Portland and the Parkrose School District.

"Community outreach is a cornerstone of our organization," said Merritt Paulson, president of the Portland Timbers, upon presenting the check. "We couldn't be more pleased to make this type of an impact and allow for thousands of kids in the Parkrose area to have a better sporting experience."

The Portland Timbers' community mission is to make the quality of life better for children and families in the greater-Portland area. As part of this mission, the Timbers are dedicated to improving sports fields and recreational opportunities for children in the city of Portland. The Portland Timbers' gift to Parkrose is the first in a multi-year commitment towards that mission.

"The Portland Timbers have a long standing commitment to community involvement," noted Commissioner Fish in his remarks. "It is a testament to this commitment that Merritt Paulson and the Timbers were presented with both the Small Business Award and the Innovations in Philanthropy Award from the Portland Business Journal's Corporate Philanthropy Awards last fall. With their support, we hope to continue to expand recreational opportunities for children here in East Portland and throughout our city."

In accepting the donation, Dr. Gray, who was joined by Parkrose School Board members, described the impact the future soccer center will have on the community. "The Parkrose Regional Soccer Center will play host to soccer clubs, school districts, and children all over East Portland. We are glad that the City is doing for Parkrose and East Portland, and we are privileged to have the generous support of Major League Soccer and Mr. Paulson. Along with a grateful School Board, who also supported this project with capital projects funding, we will be excited to have the grand opening of the soccer center in the fall of 2011. Go Broncos!"

The donation comes as the Timbers prepare, with the 2011 season, for their MLS debut in a newly renovated PGE Park.