Trail Blazers Press Release

Trail Blazers, Wells Fargo Team Up to Help Local Youth "Get Smart"

  1. Written by: trailblazers

    The Portland Trail Blazers have teamed up with Wells Fargo to provide a $20,000 donation to the nonprofit Start Making a Reader Today (SMART). A check presentation will be held at halftime of the Trail Blazers' final home game tonight.

    Trail Blazers Vice President of Communications & Community Relations Traci Rose will join Wells Fargo Head of West Coast Business Banking Don Fracchia to present SMART Executive Director Chris Otis with the check.

    "At the Trail Blazers, we recognize that literacy is a top priority in and out of the classroom for Oregon students," said Rose. "For more than a decade our players, executives and front line staff have helped SMART make a difference in the lives of young readers. We are thrilled to work as a team with Wells Fargo in supporting all that SMART is doing as literacy champions for our kids."

    For the fifth consecutive year, Wells Fargo has presented the "SMART play of the game" at each Trail Blazers home game this season, which carries a total donation of $10,000. The Trail Blazers match the annual gift from Wells Fargo, bringing the total donation to $20,000.

    The donation will enable SMART to provide 66 children in Oregon with one-on-one literacy support. The children will also receive more than 920 books to take home and keep over the course of the school year.

    "In the past five years Wells Fargo and the Portland Trail Blazers have donated a total of $100,000 to help children throughout this region learn how to read," said Don Pearson, Wells Fargo's Oregon Region president. "Reading is a fundamental skill all of us need to succeed in life. Wells Fargo recognizes the amazing work SMART does in communities throughout Oregon to increase literacy. "

    Wells Fargo, repeatedly named one of the region's most generous corporations, focuses a large percentage of its grants on education. Wells Fargo provided more than $5 million worth of support to schools and nonprofit groups in Oregon and S.W. Washington in 2011 to help communities succeed.

    SMART will serve more than 8,400 PreK-3 children in 2011-2012. Each child receives one hour of weekly, one-on-one literacy support and two new books each month.

    To learn how to become a volunteer, visit

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