Trail Blazers Press Release

Trail Blazers, Providence Health & Services Partner To Host 5,300 Portlanders In Need During 15th Annual Harvest Dinner

11/24/10
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    Team and partners provide hot meal, services, and fun for homeless, critically low-income families


    PORTLAND, Ore. – For five hours Tuesday afternoon, the Portland Trail Blazers and Providence Heath & Services held their annual Harvest Dinner – the largest dinner of its kind in Portland – for 5,300 homeless, underserved and/or critically-low income individuals at the Rose Garden. In addition to a hot, holiday-style meal, community and corporate partners offered free services that included flu shots, podiatry, haircuts, pet care, family photography, a children’s play area, live musical performances, and more.

    Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Harvest Dinner was executed entirely through volunteer efforts of Trail Blazers staff, players, coaches, community partners, local media members and corporate partners. The Thanksgiving-style meal was available exclusively to clients of local organizations and agencies that serve homeless and critically low-income individuals and families. Additionally, members of the Trail Blazers make it better employee volunteer team made some special meal deliveries to families at local Ronald McDonald houses.

    “We are honored to be in a position to host this event for the 15th year. It’s with great appreciation that we are able to continue this tradition with such generous partners like Providence,” Trail Blazers president Larry Miller said. “We look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary, but as long as there is a need, we feel that it is our responsibility to provide a warm meal during this time of year for our friends and neighbors in the Portland community.”

    Hunger continues to be a sobering issue in Oregon. For the second consecutive year, there has been a significant increase in the number of emergency food boxes distributed by the Oregon Food Bank. In Oregon, 240,000 people need emergency food in an average month – 79,200 of whom are children. Of the households receiving emergency food, 25 percent of them have at least one working member.
     
    Several Trail Blazers corporate and community partners chipped in to provide additional goods and services, including presenting partner Providence Health & Services, who provided flu shots.

    “The Harvest Dinner is an important community outreach, and Providence is pleased to take part again this year,” said Dave Underriner, chief executive of delivery systems for Providence in Oregon. “This event shows the importance of compassionate service to all, which is at the heart of our Providence Mission.

    Additional contributions include:

    · Great Clips – haircuts

    · Wells Fargo, Portland Party Works and Beaverton Bakery – kids’ corner

    · Portland Cello Project, Y La Bamba, Drew Grow & the Pastors’ Wives, Typhoon – live musical performances

    · Jeff Hinds Photography – family portraits

    · Banfield Pet Services – preventative care services and grooming

    · Compassion Clinic – podiatry

    The Harvest Dinner is a cornerstone of the Trail Blazers ongoing pledge to make it better throughout Oregon and SW Washington. To read more about these events and learn what you can do to make it better for children and their families where they live, learn and play, visit www.trailblazers.com/makeitbetter

    ABOUT THE PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
    The Portland Trail Blazers, members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), were founded in 1970, and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988.  The team’s rich heritage includes 28 playoff appearances, an NBA championship in 1977 and a commitment to community service. With a corporate mission to “Make It Better,” the Trail Blazers strive to help children and their families throughout Oregon and southwest Washington live, learn, and play. The Trail Blazers are the first and only pro sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate community service. A long-time partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland led to the establishment of the Blazers Boys & Girls Club, the first team-sponsored club of its kind, and has resulted in contributions of more than $1 million. The Albina Head Start McCormack-Matthews Center, which provides education and health services to preschoolers and their families, was established in 2004 with nearly $1 million in contributions from Allen, the team, and former Trail Blazers star – and Portland native – Damon Stoudamire. For more information on the trailblazers visit www.trailblazers.com .
     
    ABOUT PROVIDENCE HEALTH & SERVICES

    Providence Health & Services - Oregon, offers a comprehensive array of health and education services through its eight hospitals, medical clinics, health plans, long-term care facilities and home health services. With more than 17,000 employees, Providence is the state's largest private employer. Visit www.providence.org/oregon

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