Timbers, Beavers mark unprecedented giving in 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. — Building on their tradition of giving back, Portland Beavers and Portland Timbers players, staff and management again made a positive impact on community values and individual lives in 2007 by lending considerable time and energy to a number of philanthropic programs.

Highlighted by the creation of the Portland Beavers & Portland Timbers Community Fund, the teams took an even greater role in assisting several local non-profit organizations, helping to raise thousands of dollars over the past year and laying the foundation for unprecedented giving in years to come. The Community Fund, which will be launched officially in January 2008 with aggressive charitable goals in place, already made donations of $10,000 for the Hollywood Little League’s baseball-field construction and $5,000 to the Oregon State University Foundation for scholarships.

“Our community outreach efforts are as important as anything we do in our organization,” said Merritt Paulson, president of the Beavers and Timbers. “Through our Community Fund and other outreach initiatives, we look forward to increasing our positive impact on children and families in the Portland area each year.”

The 2007 season saw the return of several popular community programs, including jersey auctions, awareness nights and collection drives.

The Beavers and Timbers held jersey auctions that raised thousands of dollars for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Schoolhouse Supplies and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

The Beavers and Health Net of Oregon generated more than $18,000 for breast cancer research during their “Strike Out Breast Cancer” day that included a silent auction of the team’s pink-ribbon jerseys worn on the field during the annual event.

In conjunction with Fred Meyer, a similar jersey auction of the Beavers’ limited-edition “retro” jerseys at season’s end raised more than $3,200 for Schoolhouse Supplies, while an auction of Timbers’ game-worn jerseys raised more than $2,800 for MDA.

The Beavers and Timbers continued their support of Schoolhouse Supplies in 2007 through collection drives and participation in its “Tools for Schools” program. With the support of Supercuts, the Beavers hosted a “Back-to-School Supply Drive” near the end of the season. With the help of both teams and other supply-drive partners, Schoolhouse Supplies was able to collect more than $76,000 in supplies during its month-long drive leading into the new school year. Once again in 2007, the Beavers and Timbers adopted Jason Lee Elementary School as part of the program, providing 434 backpacks filled with school supplies to the students during their first week of school in September.

The 2007 season marked the second year of a partnership with Willoughby Hearing Aid Centers. As part of the season-long program, one hearing aid was donated to a child in need for each game that a Beavers player hit a home run. A total of 138 hearing aids have been donated through this program over the past two years. On the soccer pitch, the Timbers and First Tech Credit Union partnered to raise awareness for SOLV, an organization devoted to a healthy environment for Oregonians. Through this partnership, First Tech Credit Union donated $50 per save made by a Timbers goalkeeper, netting $2,200 for SOLV and its programs.

Cricket Wireless and Jammin’ 95.5 sponsored a free baseball and soccer clinic with the Beavers and Timbers as well. Camps were offered free of charge through Portland Parks & Recreation and helped introduce the sports to children who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate in a camp. In addition, Health Net of Oregon, Volkswagen, American Family Insurance and Esurance all generously provided scholarships to members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan, giving kids the chance to take part in the popular Beavers and Timbers summer camp programs. More than 150 Boys & Girls Club members were able to participate due to the generosity of these corporate partners.

In partnership with Fred Meyer, the Beavers presented a Homestand Hero award throughout the season, recognizing student-athletes excelling both on and off the field. The Beavers also launched their Coach and Volunteer of the Year awards in 2007. Working with Friends of Baseball, the team recognized deserving individuals who keep youth baseball and softball thriving in the greater-Portland area.

On the promotional front, the Beavers assisted in giving back as part of their popular Bob L. Head promotion. Led by Bob Leroy Head, the sale of autographed bobbleheads and t-shirts helped raise money for the Oregon Hospice Association and the Hospice of Jackson County in Head’s home state of Iowa.

In addition to these programs, the Beavers and Timbers continued to partner with a number of causes and organizations in an ever-increasing community outreach effort. Other organizations to benefit directly from these programs included: Multnomah County Library, YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, Challenge League, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, Portland Parks & Recreation, the American Heart Association, the Red Cross and Oregon Youth Soccer Association. The Beavers and Timbers actively supported thousands of community groups through donations to various fundraising events over the course of the year, providing more than $385,000 in tickets, merchandise and experiential donations. Further, the teams raised more than $36,000 for youth baseball, softball and soccer programs through the team’s expanded fundraising program.

Once again in 2007, Beavers and Timbers players continued to do their part to make a difference in the community. No two players were more giving of their time and energy than Luke Carlin of the Beavers and Kiki Lara of the Timbers. Both were named Community Players of the Year for their efforts for the respective teams.

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