Blazers donate over $100K to local nonprofits for “Sport for Health” initiative

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

The Portland Trail Blazers have donated $102,000 to local nonprofits for a new youth health program, the team announced Tuesday.

The Blazers granted $15,000 to eight local nonprofits all with the goal of getting children more active.

“Active kids are more successful – in school and in life – and inactivity is pervasive in our communities,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan said in a press release. “Sport is the core of our organization, and our goal is to support other organizations that provide opportunities and inspire kids to get active and moving through play.”

Here is a list of the non-profits involved.

  • AC Portland – Expansion of their basketball program from four schools to eight schools.
  • Adelante Mujeres – Support for the Chicas Soccer Academy and Healthy Lifestyle Camp for Latina girls.
  • Circus Project – Expansion of the Social Circus program to offer more tuition-free spots for low-income and homeless youth in after-school programming, year round instruction, drop-in hours and classes.
  • Girls Inc. of the Pacific Northwest – Additional enCourage Girls Groups as part of the Sporting Chance after-school program offering sessions for girls to explore options for outdoor adventure.
  • Native American Youth & Family Center – Sixth annual Neerchokikoo Powwow including teaching dance and regalia making all year and supporting healthy, traditional physical activity.
  • Open Meadow Alternative Schools – PE budget and additional funds for non-traditional sport participation.
  • Oregon Disability Sports – Youth sports programming including facility rental, adaptive equipment, coaches, and activities and tournaments for youth with physical disabilities.
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation and Health Center – Expansion of the Journey through Wellness program to Beaverton High School to lead disadvantaged youth in active outdoor adventures.

Ever since the naming rights deal between the team and Moda Health, the Blazers have made health a key part of their marketing and philanthropic platform.

This seems like a great program, even the British sounding name. Forgive me for joking about a worthy cause, but we call them “sports” here in ‘Merikuh.

According to the Blazers, the team has made over $660K in contributions in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He's covered the NBA for four seasons. You can also occasionally find his work on's NBA section for their TrueCities series. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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