PORTLAND, Ore. (September 5, 2017) - With disaster response and relief efforts happening in their own communities and across the country, the Portland Trail Blazers (NBA), Portland Timbers (MLS), Portland Thorns FC (NWSL), Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League) and Hillsboro Hops (Northwest League) will band together to raise much-needed funds and blood donations to channel through the American Red Cross. This is the first joint-philanthropic initiative among the five local professional franchises focusing on a specific cause - to bring aid to victims of Oregon's wildfires; Hurricane Harvey in Texas; and the potential impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
"The destruction we've seen from the Oregon wildfires and Hurricane Harvey is heartbreaking," said Chris McGowan, President & CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. "The journey to recovery will be a long one for all impacted areas. The professional sports community here in Portland is rallying our respective fan bases, employees and partners to contribute resources to assist in the effort where it's needed most."
"Our hearts go out to the families and individuals affected by the devastating fires in Oregon and the communities in Southeast Texas as they begin the process to rebuild and heal," said Mike Golub, President of Business for the Timbers and Thorns FC. "By working together with our local partners, we are able to maximize our collective impact in support of the communities affected by the devastation caused by these disasters."
The first steps taken will be to hold individual blood drives starting tomorrow, with each team hosting its own specially-designated day at the headquarters for the Portland American Red Cross, located at 3131 North Vancouver Avenue. The need for blood is constant and the American Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to hospitals in the nation.
Fundraising efforts by each team will take place in the coming weeks and months at select home games and events to be announced soon. The Timbers, Thorns FC and Hops seasons are currently underway, with the Winterhawks and Trail Blazers beginning their 2017-18 seasons soon. Additional information will be posted on each team's website and through their social media channels.
"We're pleased to be involved with the team effort to raise funds and support the relief efforts locally and nationally," said K.L. Wombacher, President and General Manager of the Hillsboro Hops. "Having two players on our roster that we care deeply about being from the Houston area, Hurricane Harvey hits home for us. Our hearts go out to all those who have lost so much over the last week. We hope to do everything we can to help them get their lives back."
"Between the forest fires threatening the Northwest and the hurricanes causing catastrophic damage on the Gulf Coast, the resources of the American Red Cross are being stretched to the limits," said Doug Piper, President of the Portland Winterhawks. "We are proud to stand with the Portland sports community and bring aid to those who so desperately need it."
Red Cross blood donations can be conveniently scheduled online at www.redcrossblood.org for any of their blood drive locations throughout the region; or through the mobile app by texting BLOODAPP to 90999. Here is the schedule of upcoming blood drives hosted by each Portland-area pro sports team (**Note: Donors should use visitor parking for their vehicles, or dial (503) 528-5800 for parking guidance if visitor spaces are full):
• Wednesday, September 6 - Hillsboro Hops; 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
• Thursday, September 7 - Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC; 80 appointment slots from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
• Friday, September 8 - Portland Winterhawks; 7:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
• Saturday, September 9 - Portland Trail Blazers; 100 appointment slots from 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Cascades or find us on Facebook at RedCrossCascades, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades. ###
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.