She Flies On Her Own Wings - Bella
Photo by David Blair

She Flies With Her Own Wings: Thorns FC & Girls, Inc. partner for unique postgame ceremony

The 16,479 fans at JELD-WEN Field for the Portland Thorns FC home opener last month saw more than just an exciting 2-1 Portland win over Seattle Reign FC. They also witnessed the beginning of a new tradition for the Thorns.

Following the team’s postgame walk around the stadium where the squad recognized the crowd, the players that netted the Thorns two goals—Marian Dougherty and Alex Morgan—were each presented with roses to acknowledge their performance.

The roses were not presented to them by their coach, their teammates, or Thorns staff. Instead, two young representatives of Girls, Inc. met Dougherty and Morgan on the field to award them.

A non-profit pillar partner of Stand Together, Girls, Inc. of NW Oregon is based in Portland and aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers.

For the first game of the season, Thorns FC invited Bella and Megan from Da Vinci Middle School to participate in the rose ceremony.

Bella is a 7th grader who founded her own non-profit organization Talent For A Cause which raises money for the World Wildlife Federation through talent shows. 

“It was very special to present roses to the two girls who shot their first goals of the season,” said Bella. “I loved meeting the girls and walking onto the field for everyone to see. I loved it.”

Megan, a 6th grader and frequent participant in Girls, Inc. programs who tests her limits in soccer, kayaking, and rock climbing agreed, "My favorite moment of the day was hanging out and watching the game & handing out the roses."

Bella has worked with Thorns FC and Stand Together in the past. She is a host on Girls, Inc. Radio and has interviewed Thorns FC coach Cindy Parlow Cone on-air for Girls, Inc.’s annual Power of the Purse event. She also modeled the finished purse at the annual fundraiser event earlier this winter.

“My favorite part was when, after I presented the roses to them, Cindy came over to hug me and wrapped the Thorns scarf around my neck,” said Bella. “I almost started crying of joy. It was one of the best moments of my life.”

Win, lose or draw, look for more strong, smart and bold representatives from Girls, Inc. to present roses postgame throughout the Thorns 2013 season.

Girl's Inc. Presenters - April 21, 2013

Megan, 6th Grade, daVinci Arts Middle School
I am physically strong because I practice rock climbing, kayaking and and soccer. In soccer I'm bold when someone with the ball comes when I'm goalie I shout to get the ball. In rock climbing I'm smart to plan were to put my hands and feet even when I'm shaking. I'm smart by getting good grades in school and working in groups to get things done. I'm bold by trying new things by myself like the Girls Inc. hula hooping class. I'm also bold by not caring whatsoever about what other people think of me. Another example of me being bold is doing something wacky to freak out my aunts like a fake nose ring.

Bella, 7th Grade, daVinci Arts Middle School
My name is Bella, I think and so do my fellow family members that I am very strong. Recently my mom had breast cancer, she survived and I look up to her. It was a very tough year for my family and me.  I went into the year as a confused girl with no idea what was going on, but I came out as a stronger person. I learned from my mom that everything does not turn out like you want it too, but you always learn form the world’s mistakes. I also think that I am very smart. I founded Talent For A Cause, which is a non-profit organization. Talent meaning a competitive talent show.  All the contestants try to raise money World Wildlife Federation that helps the endangered animals, which is the Cause. I think I am very smart because I was so creative to think of this. I think I am bold. I stand out from other people. I could be that weird girl in the class, but some people look past that and more think of me as a girl with a sense of humor but still a sweet person. Those are my friends.