Bless Field Officially Under Construction

We’re fully funded, permitted, and already breaking ground: Bless Field is officially transitioning from a fundraising project into a construction project. Work is underway with final touches expected early summer. Bless Field construction 3

This vision couldn’t have gotten underway without our many donors and supporters who have given time, money, and attention. We’d especially like to thank:

107ist Portland Timbers Football Club Providence Health & Services Widmer Bros. Portland Development Commission FieldTurf Adidas LifeWise Daimler Factory North Oregon Premier League TripWire Knowledge Universe 105 Howitzers The Duane Graf Family Underdog Sports Eleventy Ones Pitch Invasion And all the other many generous donors like you!

Stay tuned for more announcements and our plans to officially open Bless Field.


Bless Field Update

We are overdue for an update about our Bless Field project. So let’s get to it.

  • Beating Seattle. Our kickoff event, Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field was a huge success. Close to 250 supporters came out to the Hollywood Theater to relive some classic Timbers moments from the past and hear from the players that lived that history including Willie Anderson, Bernie Fagan, Roger Goldingay, Mick Hoban, Bill Irwin and Jimmy Kelly. Beating Seattle raised over $3,500 and much more in awareness for the Bless Field project.

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  • Art Takeover. You all remember the amazing Factory North event Art Takeover poster project last year benefitting Harper’s Playground? Well Art Takeover is back for 2013 and its looking to be bigger and better than ever. This year’s event is scheduled for August 10 and will feature limited-run felt pennants featuring designs inspired by Timbers Army songs, past and present. In addition, a number of large-scale, Portland inspired flags will be sold by auction. Sponsorship and support from the 107 Independent Supporter’s Trust, Coava Coffee, Salt & Straw, Widmer, Actual Industries, Seizure Palace and many more promise to make for an awesome way to support Bless Field.

  • Construction Update. Even though fundraising is far from complete, we’ve already begun investing your donation into Bless Field. Before construction can begin, we had to complete a survey of the site as well as a geotechnical soil analysis. The results of these two efforts will be used by our architecture firm, Group Mackenzie, to develop detailed construction designs that the contractor will use to build the field. Both these steps are complete and details construction drawings are underway. If you’ve been by the field in the last few weeks you may have noticed some work happening on the East side of the lot. This work relates to the bike hub and training paths operated by the Community Cycling Center and should not affect Bless Field.

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  • Bless Book. To assist help get the word out about Bless Field, OPI developed a interactive iBook packed with photos, videos and information about the project. If you have an iPad, you can download it for free from the Apple iBookstore. If you don’t have an iPad, you can get all the same information (without the fun videos, pictures and interactive features) in this PDF. Feel free to share this link with your friends and co-workers who are interested in learning more about Bless Field:

  • Park Project Update. Unrelated to Bless Field, we’ve completed two park repair events so far this summer in Willamette Park and Lents Park. We’ve also supported field and grounds restoration work by the Timbers Army Football Club at Marshall High School and Franklin High School. We’ve even acquired some line-painting equipment to get those newly refinished pitches looking sharp prior to match day. While we had to drop our planned June park event due to City budget constraints, we are still hoping for another event late in the summer.

Expect to hear more in coming weeks about Art Takeover. Thanks for all your support. As usual, you can keep up with us on Twitter @opipdx or by keeping an eye on our blog.

Beating Seattle Gets Better: More Ways to Benefit Bless Field

Beating Seattle Never Gets Old, our April 4 fundraiser at the Hollywood Theatre for Bless Field, just got better. In addition to a great night celebrating the matches and men of Timbers history, we’ll be raffling four center-pitch Key Club seats to the April 6 Timbers-Dynamo matchup. Tickets are still available for Beating Seattle and more information about the raffle is below. But first a recap of an amazing couple weeks.

While we knew Portland would be excited about our Bless Field project, we’ve been humbled and thrilled by the receiption the project has recently enjoyed. It all started a couple weeks ago when our partner organization, the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, was invited to City Council to present to Portland’s City Council about the 107ist and its community projects, including Bless Field. You can watch that presentation and hear more about 107ist and Bless Field on YouTube.

Not long after, Ryan Gates over at Stumptown Footy interviewed OPI director Shawn Levy where he talked about the Bless Field project, OPI’s prior work and golden triangle that is Team-Town-Timbers Army. Casey Parks at the Oregonian reported on Bless Field as did Kip Kesgard, the Timbers Army embedded blogging reporter for OregonLive. Just a couple days ago, Brian Costello of the Portland Timbers talked about Beating Seattle at and recently, KOIN talked to Shawn about Bless Field and the Beating Seattle fundraiser:

We’ve made our Beating Seattle event even better by adding a raffle for four center-pitch Key Club seats to the Timbers - Dyanmo match on April 6. Chances are $5.00 each and can either be purchased at the Beating Seattle event or by making a donation on our Eventbrite page. You need not be present at Beating Seattle to win, but it sure would be fun if you were! If you’ve already made a donation through our Eventbrite page, we’ll set aside a raffle ticket for every $5.00 you’ve donated. No limit on the number of raffle tickets you can buy! Our thanks to Dr. Dennis Crawford, Director of Sports Medicine at OHSU for providing the raffle prize.

Beating Seattle Never Gets Old: A Benefit for Bless Field is Thursday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hollywood Theatre. Tickets are still available - $12.00 in advance, $15.00 at the door. We hope to see you there.

Benefit for OPI: K&S Word

Looking for a little more footy in your life? Want to stoke the fires before the Timbers take on their northern rivals? Or maybe just some culture? Then be sure to check out K&S Word, a literary prelude to the Kicking + Screening Soccer Film Festival benefitting Operation Pitch Invasion. K&S Word features NBC Sports' Noah Davis (@noahedavis), film critic and Timbers fanatic Shawn Levy (@shawnlevy), author Zach Dundas (@zachdundas), Bazi Bierbrasserie owner Hilda Stevens (@bazipdx), and University of Portland professor Andrew Guest; all reading tales with the shared theme of rivalry. Emceed by 5 Minutes to Kickoff (@5mTKO) hosts Bob Kellett and Steven Lenhart.

K&S Word takes place Wednesday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Bazi Bierbrasserie located at 1522 SE 32nd, just off Hawthorne (map).

We Need Your Help - Vote Nando!

The message is simple: VOTE NANDO!!!!

If you’re a Timbers fan, you probably know Fernando Machicado — or Nando as he’s called by almost everyone.

Perhaps you’ve seen him managing the crew at the 107ist merchandise van, or running charitable events for 107ist and Operation Pitch Invasion, or helping to manage Timbers Army game day operations inside JELDWEN Field, or maybe you remember his image from one of those epic Rose City Till I Die billboards: his sat right across the street from Powell’s and then, blown up to 747-size, on the parking garage on Broadway near Burnside.

Wherever the Timbers Army is, especially when it’s involved with charitable works, Nando is at the forefront — or, more often, behind the scenes, working in advance with community partners, sponsors, donors, and Timbers Army volunteers to make stuff happen. In addition to being the president of Operation Pitch Invasion, he sits on the board of the 107 Independent Supporters Trust, where he chairs the Game Day Operations and Merchandise Committees and co-chairs the Community Outreach Committee.

As part of his 107ist commitments, Nando has been the spearhead of a program to bring soccer gear and mentorship to 4-15 year olds at the Tamarak Apartments, a public housing complex with a history of losing kids to gangs, and he has been 107ist’s principal liaison to the Portland Public Schools, providing an avenue for the Timbers Army to donate equipment and sweat-equity hours to soccer programs at four local high schools.

With Operation Pitch Invasion, he has helped rehabilitate the soccer fields at several Portland parks, helped put a turf field where a blacktop once sat in a North Portland schoolyard, is negotiating the funding and installation of an artificial turf soccer field at New Columbia (another public housing project in an economically disadvantaged community), and helping to assemble a program of volunteer coaches and instructors for a soccer program at the new field.

It’s safe to say that Nando’s commitment to the game of soccer, the local community, and the Timbers Army and its various organizational and charitable bodies makes him a living embodiment of the phrase Rose City Till I Die. He exemplifies the Eternal Golden Triangle of Team/Town/Timbers Army.

Nando has been nominated by the Timbers front office as their candidate as MLS W.O.R.K.S. 2012 Community MVP, which involves a $10,000 award which he intends to donate to Operation Pitch Invasion, and you can help him win. The prize is being awarded on the basis of votes cast on the web, and (and this is the genius part) you can vote as many times as you care to (and we hope you’ll care to a lot). Simply visit, click on Nando’s name (Fernando Machicado), and cast your ballot.

For all subsequent votes, do the same as above and then enter the captcha codes you’ll see on the screen. Do this often enough and you can actually see Nando rise in the standings before your eyes! Voting ends at 2 pm Pacific on Friday, July 13, and we’d like to see Nando’s name on top of that column at 2:01.

Maybe you’ve wanted to get involved in the charity works of 107ist and Operation Pitch Invasion but haven’t quite been able to find the time. But throughout this week, if you take a few minutes once or twice a day and bang on that voting booth a couple of times, you could be the person who puts Nando over the top and brings OPI $10,000 closer to a signature project that will add immeasurably to the legacy of Soccer City USA. You know you’ve got the time to spare. Go on and vote!