As many of you may or may not know, one of the things we do on the 107ist Community Outreach Committee is deciding on donation requests. While some of the big donations get a lot of the coverage, many of them are much smaller and can have a larger, broader, impact. While it varies based on alignment with our mission, we frequently give gift baskets to auctions or raffle fundraisers which include a voucher for a pair of TA shirts, No Pity scarves, and when appropriate, match tickets. The 107ist has several season tickets for this purpose and it is always a great pleasure to find a group worthy of this gift. While the money these gift baskets raise varies greatly, we frequently hear back that they are among the most popular items.
The most raised that we know of was at the Harper’s Playground Auction last year, when we sweetened the deal with playoff tickets and other items including a log slab from Timber Jim. The final bid was around $2,600! The best part was the guy who won already had tickets and donated them back to Harper’s Playground to raffle off, raising even more money.
While the typical money raised is much more conservative, the largest impact is often on the fact that it allows people who are normally unable to attend matches to come down and experience what we do as the Mighty PTFC for the cost of a raffle ticket. One of these stories culminated just this last weekend. As you know, Operation Pitch Invasion is doing a project at the soccer field in April Hill Park in Southwest Portland. Due to lower turnout recently, we’re reaching out to the many people in the community that use the field as well as the Foothills Soccer Club, the primary user for practices and matches. As a part of our outreach to the community, we gave a basket with TA shirts, “limited edition” Gold Outline No Pities, and Seattle at Home tickets to be raffled at the neighborhood’s Movie in the Park event a few weeks ago, and it was the most popular basket in the raffle. The kid who won plays on the field all the time and was seriously ecstatic about winning, about as much as his mom, an active member of the community. They wore their new scarves proudly for the rest of the evening and anxiously anticipated the match.
We frequently get wonderful thank-you notes from people for our donations and this one, sent the evening after the match, really got us in the feels, so we thought we’d share:
“…just wanted to let you know that today was, by his own account, the second best day of Torin's life, after the day he was born. Got our wristbands this morning and found seats in 107 as was his big wish. We got to hold the edge of the tifo [BAF] 4 times today, and our voices are completely hoarse. We've lucked out on TA tickets from season ticket holders 2 times before & stood in the upper section, but today was hands down the best ever, what with gutting the fish and all ;)
“Thanks a ton for making it all happen to get the raffle package for Maplewood, and for setting the wheels in motion for the happiest kid I know today. …Definitely a huge treat for a household on a tight budget, too!”
See what I mean about the feels?
A side note, while we have you: the soccer field at April Hill Park was built in the mid-sixties by some neighborhood kids who wrote a letter to the city to ask if they could, and is now one of the most used fields in SW Portland. Like much of the soil in SW Portland, it doesn’t drain well and quickly turns to mud during the fall soccer season. As a result, the surface is really uneven. It’s the type of field that you need to either take a cross out of the air, or give it at least six feet clearance to see how it bounces before shooting. The diverse group of kids, including Torin, that use it on a daily basis deserve better and you can help. So sign up to come join us this Saturday.