While fans in the stands at Portland Timbers games have the opportunity to cheer for the boys in green, each game also allows them a chance to give back to fellow Oregonians. The 50/50 Raffle has been a part of Timbers home games since 2013, and has provided a unique opportunity for fans and Stand Together partner AC Portland to benefit from their love of the beautiful game.
The raffle is simple in its design. Fans purchase tickets for amounts of $2, $5, $10 or $20. Proceeds are put into a pool for that match, and during the 70th minute a winning ticket is announced. The winner receives 50 percent of the total sum, with the other half going toward AC Portland and the Portland Timbers Community Fund.
AC Portland is a non-profit group that uses soccer as a means to improve the lives of local youth through physical activity and academic training. They provide 30 weeks of afterschool programming to 600 students across the Portland metro area.
“One of the biggest obstacles for non-profit work is balancing raising money to do the work you want to do and actually doing the work the non-profit was created for,” said Jared Hoffman, Program Director at AC Portland. “With the success of the raffle, we have been able to focus our time on doing the work to serve the children in Portland.”
With help from the 50/50 Raffle, the program has been able to thrive and is reporting significant returns on the investment from generous fans at Timbers games. AC Portland reports that 75% of their participants have improved or maintained their aerobic ability and that 87% of those categorizes as obese at the beginning of their involvement have improved or maintained their BMI.
“The children in our program are thriving in school and we are encouraged by their continued growth on and off the field,” said Executive Director Ben Dudley.
Tickets for the raffle will continue to be sold at every Timbers and Portland Thorns FC home game this season. The official 50/50 kiosk is located at Gate 4 at Providence Park, but AC Portland ticket sellers can also be found around the concourse, selling tickets up to the 60th minute of every match. Support for the raffle has, thus far, been a groundswell with some fans even donating their portion back to AC Portland and the Timbers Community Fund.
For more information on the 50/50 Raffle, visit Stand Together's web page dedicated to the contest.
The Portland Timbers Community Fund, an advised fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, supports charitable, nonprofit organizations that are registered as a 501(c)3, with tax-exempt status from the IRS and are located within one of the four surrounding counties of the Portland metro area. Grant-seeking organizations must fall under one of the areas of focus: youth education, youth activity and fitness, and environmental awareness and activism with youth and families. To learn more about the Timbers and their work in the community, follow @PTStandTogether on Twitter.