Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field

NewColumbiaWe've told you about Bless Field, the micro-pitch OPI is building for the kids in the New Columbia neighborhood. You'll be hearing a lot more about this project throughout 2013 starting with an amazing fundraiser that you won't want to miss. Thursday April 4; 7:00 pm Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd $12 in advance through Eventbrite; $15 at the door

Join Operation Pitch Invasion, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust and "5 Minutes to Kickoff" for an evening celebrating Soccer City USA's past and creating Soccer City USA's future.   To help build Bless Field in the New Columbia community, a field on which a future Timbers or Thorns (!) star will be born, we'll look back at the roots of major league soccer in Portland with some of the legends who played here, men who filled the stadium with fans and stayed on to help turn those fans into a true community of soccer players and supporters.  

Come see highlights of the Timbers playing against Pele and his Cosmos in Portland in 1976; the Timbers playing the Chicago Sting at Wrigley Field in 1982; and, in an extended cut, the Timbers playing the Seattle Sounders in a playoff semifinal before a record crowd in Portland in 1975.     Commenting throughout the evening will be the players on the screen themselves, among them Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin, and Jimmy Kelly, along with “5MTKO” hosts Bob Kellett and Steven Lenhart.     Thanks to the Hollywood Theatre's generosity, every cent of admission goes directly toward building Bless Field at New Columbia.     Bless Field, scheduled to open later this year, will be an all-weather turf field serving kids from 22 countries who speak 11 languages -- plus, of course, the international language of soccer.     With the organizational support of the Regence Boys and Girls Club (immediately adjacent to the field) and instructional guidance from the Timbers Academy, 107ist volunteer coaches and mentors will institute a program of instruction and organized play on Bless Field (named for the late Timbers Army stalwart General Timber Howie Bless). The field will also support programming by AC Portland in concert with Rosa Parks Elementary School (also adjacent).   And someday -- not far long from now, either -- one of those kids who learns to play the game at Bless Field will score a meaningful goal for the Timbers or Thorns (!) at JELD-WEN Field, and the connection of Team-Town-Timbers Army will be complete.   Efforts are now underway to raise the approximately $200,000 needed to see the project through, and this event marks the launch of that fundraising drive. The Portland Timbers and 107ist are already committed to significant contributions to the campaign, but you can take part, too, by attending this evening.    “Beating Seattle Never Gets Old” promises to be one of those epic Soccer City USA events that you’ll brag about attending years from now. Only 350 tickets are available, so get yours now.