For several years now, 107IST members have been the people who fund the engine that fuels the Timbers Army and the Rose City Riveters. In addition, 107IST members have had the chance to acquire an additional "thank you gift" (sometimes affectionately referred to as "swag") each year they sign up or renew. From enamel pins to bottle openers to tote bags to keychains, we've had a variety of different 107IST membership gifts in the past.
This year, 107IST members who say "yes, I want a membership gift" will get a challenge coin when signing up or renewing for 2017. (Local members get a voucher they can redeem for a challenge coin at the Fanladen; members who live further away will get their challenge coins in the mail.)
What the heck is a challenge coin?
Challenge coins have several origin stories, all military in origin. In the Roman Empire, coins were sometimes used to recognize a soldier's achievements. Modern challenge coin origin stories include tales of a flying squadron in World War I; stories of the OSS in World War II; and still other accounts of the 17th Infantry Regiment in the Korean conflict. Regardless of the origin, the general notion of a challenge coin is to commemorate membership in a particular military group, and is also often associated with special achievements or visits. A coin can be a source of pride, a memento of a special event, a morale booster, and/or proof of membership in a group.
The "challenge" part of the name refers to coin holders being challenged to present their coins. As in origin stories, the rules for coin challenges vary, but most have a similar theme: upon being challenged to present coins, all coin-holding members of a group must physically present their coins. Any member who cannot produce his/her coin is generally responsible for buying other members present a beverage. If all members in attendance are able to produce their coins, the person who challenged others to present coins must instead buy all members present a beverage.
The 107IST challenge coin for 2017 is a beautifully crafted commemorative coin. On one side, there is a representation of a 107IST member doing volunteer work with Operation Pitch Invasion (thank you, Nicole Barker, for the photo it comes from). On the other side are the logos of the 107IST, the Timbers Army, and the Rose City Riveters. Around the edges of the coin are the mission of the 107IST, along with some of the many things 107IST members do.
If you are a local member, check your packet for the voucher with the picture of a challenge coin on it. Bring that voucher to the Fanladen during office hours (usually Wednesday nights 6:30-8:30) or on match days before home matches. You can exchange the voucher for your own challenge coin.
We know we aren't the first supporters group to create a challenge coin. Heck, we aren't even the first Timbers Army people to do so. We have both Eastern Bloc & TA:CO (Timbers Army:Covert Ops) challenge coins on display at the Fanladen, for example. But we thought these would be a wonderful way to commemorate the work you support with your membership, as well as a reminder of what we're all about.
No, we don't have any dictates about "rules" for coin checks. As with most other things we do, we're sure that people will come up with their own variations. As a 107IST member in 2017, enjoy your challenge coin as a reminder of what your membership supports. Whether it's tifo and other game day operations, community outreach, or any of the activities associated with our core mission, your membership in 107IST supports Team, Town, and TA/Riveters: supporting soccer in and around Portland, Oregon, from the grassroots to the highest professional level.
Update 2/3/17: We have reached our goal for both games! Thank you to everyone who donated - we no longer need tickets. If you wanted to donate but were unable to, we'll be taking up collections for future games so hopefully you can contribute then.
Update 2/2/17: We have reached our goal of 30 tickets for the game on 2/9! We are now only looking for tickets on 2/15 against Vancouver. See original post below.
Will you have any spare Timbers Army tickets for the preseason games on February 9th and/or 15th? We would like to have a group of kids from the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) join us in the TA and we're looking for your unused tickets. Maybe you'll be out of town or you can't make a weeknight game, or maybe you just want to give up your seat for a good cause. Whatever the reason, your ticket will bring a lot of joy to a child and help them feel more a part of this community, which they need now more than ever.
Don't have season tickets but want to help? That's ok! You can buy Timbers Army tickets here - that's sections 101-208 (doesn't matter which) or choose the Timbers Army option under "Purchase By Price" - and then donate them!
Please email tickets as PDFs to email@example.com with the subject "IRCO Donation". We are looking for the 9th (against Salt Lake) and the 15th (against Vancouver) only -- NOT the 12th. Please note we are only looking for Timbers Army (general admission) tickets so that we can keep the kids together. We will update this post when we have received enough tickets.
-by Brian May
I have been a part of the Special Olympics Polar Plunge as a plunger for the last 4 years, with the last three being part of the SUPER PLUNGERS team. Those are the crazy people that plunge once every hour for 24 hours straight and each has different backgrounds. This year I will be leading the Timbers Army plunge team, and luckily for us, the Timbers Army team will be performing a single plunge on the 25th of February.
The Polar Plunge is a fun event to help raise money for the Special Olympics.
Where does the money raised by the polar plunge go? I’m glad you asked.
There will be a special Merritt Badge for the people who plunge in the frigid waters of Broughton Beach.
I’m hoping to get at least 107 of my fellow Timbers Army members to take the plunge with me on February 25th, 2017. No need to worry about missing any of the preseason tournament action at Providence Park, as there are no matches scheduled for the plunge day.
To join the Timbers Army Polar Plunge Team, please visit the following URL: http://soor.convio.net/goto/TimbersArmy
I hope to see you at the plunge!
The Plunge Details
The Portland Polar Plunge is located on Broughton Beach on Marine Drive.
Tips for a great plunge:
As Portland continued to thaw this past weekend, 1/14-1/15, a couple hundred people descended on Rose City Futsal's new Westside location for the 2017 Winter Classic. Featuring three divisions - Men's, Women's, and Coed - 23 teams played 25 minute matches, with the winner determined by the team receiving the most points, Premier League-style.
Saturday's matches started out with the coed and women's teams leading things off, followed by the men's matches later in the evening, and things seemed to get chippier as the night went on making for some great competition and entertainment. Sunday's matches reversed that format, starting off with the men and finishing up with the women's and coed teams.
The Winners (all were undefeated):
In the end, a lot of great futsal was played, new friendships were forged, a number of new players and teams made their debut (and we hope they stick around!), and a little over $3,600 was raised for TAFC's Open Play.
A big thanks to all of our volunteers for making this event a success, especially our organizers Clifford Eiffler, Michelle DeFord, Emily Hausenauer, Bill Packwood, Oliver Mooÿman, Ray Terrill, a team of fantastic event-day volunteers, and Dawn Bauman, who celebrated her birthday with us at RCF on Sunday and had the entire facility sing Happy Birthday to her before the matches started.
If you came out this weekend (as a volunteer, player, or spectator) - We're looking for feedback on how we did, and we'd appreciate your input on this survey: http://fluidsurveys.com/surveys/timbersarmy/2017-winter-classic/
If you want to play futsal or indoor soccer, and don't yet have a team to call home, take a second to fill out this form, and we'll try to match you up with a squad (or form a new one!): https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkgVQBdNtIGktmxTXDR5QjGkZqBs-gxwiQ6kXy1WeL9KoGZw/viewform
If you already have a team, but want to join the TAFC umbrella of teams - shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— By Jason Young
Most people don’t get two chances to see their child stand for the first time. I did. A text came through on my phone with a picture of my then-5-year-old daughter standing, balanced against a wall, unassisted by nothing but her own body. And, just like when I saw her take her first wobbly steps, I cried.
Many of you have heard about Kylee by now: You’ve seen us sitting in the ADA section above 108 and stopped to say hi, or you read her story when you bought tickets for the scarf raffle for her. You’ve heard about the food-borne illness she contracted just before she turned 2. You’ve heard about the stroke that soon followed. But most of you don’t know just how resilient my little girl is. She spent a lot of a year in Doernbecher Hospital, up the hill at OHSU, while a combination of surgeries, procedures and medications attempted to keep up with the damage done to her brain, bowels and kidneys. Her heart almost stopped, but that didn’t stop Kylee. Neither did the coma, induced to give her tiny body a chance to heal. Her kidneys decided to stop working, but Kylee never did, toughing it out through months of dialysis until her mother could donate a kidney of her own. (Nothing I ever give to Kylee can compare to that gift.)
Good timber doesn’t grow with ease, and neither do good TA, apparently. Her favorite scarf says “Got Born In,” and she was. Her first lullabies were set to the tune of TA chants — I had to stop that when she’d start to cry whenever “Onward Rose City” started, thinking we’d have to leave the match and go to bed. She was a regular in 107 and loved clapping along to “PT-FC.” We started taking her back to Timbers matches as soon as she was well enough to handle it, wanting to immerse her in as much family, love and soccer as we could. We found a new home just above 108, where she has a great view of Sunday, her favorite capo.
Kylee will miss a bit of the 2017 season, but she’s got a good reason: We’ve started a new treatment that has her traveling to Los Angeles on a regular basis. She’s made the trip a few times already. She now has electrodes implanted in her brain, powered by batteries implanted in her chest. (Yes, my daughter is a cyborg.) The hope is that all this hardware will help her brain communicate better with her muscles, giving her back as much of the motor control as possible that she lost after her stroke. This treatment is in the clinical trial phase, so for us, it’s a first. But it has me looking forward to so many potential second chances. The second chance to hear my daughter speak her first words. The second chance to watch her take her first steps. Taste her first foods. Stand with her arms up, chanting at a match. I’ll treasure each and every one, even more than I did the first time around.
We have always considered the TA to be Kylee’s second family, and now we are humbly asking that family for help with her second chances. By now, we’re used to finding ways to cover medical care for Kylee; however, her trips to L.A. include extra expenses above and beyond the care she receives in Portland. These expenses include airfare, baggage fees, taxi or Uber fares, hotels and more.
We’ve included a link to her GoFundMe page if you would like to help this little North End Ultra get back on her feet. (Honestly, it has some adorable pictures of Kylee on it, so you should take a look just for that.) If you would like to donate hotel loyalty points, car rental loyalty points, or Alaska Airline miles, we would be incredibly appreciative. If you have any suggestions or connections that might help us, don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you just want to say hi, don’t be shy. Kylee would love it!
We’ll see you March 3rd!
—by Nicholas “Nicky Buttons” Downing
When I root, I root for the Timbers. A lot of the time, the rooting is done from home. I don't have a season ticket; I can't afford a ticket every time. I love my town, I love my team, I love the Timbers Army. I knew there were people in my exact situation I could enjoy these things I love with. I decided to get them together: let's watch a match. I had heard about and seen regional subgroups, but didn't know all the details. A long time ago some Eastside fans got together, watched some matches, made a scarf, and called it Eastern Bloc, never to be more than a few friends gathering to watch soccer. I simply just rehashed this concept. It was simple: if you live around the area and want to watch the match with some other fans in the area, come on down. Even if you don't live in the area, we'd love to have you. All we ask is you cheer as loud as you can.
After a few away days, more and more people started to show up, everyone being the fans this team deserves: loud, feverish, and, most importantly, loyal. This attitude spread over the entire group. We were there for each other, we were there for the community, we were there for the team. All of us, together, under the Timbers Army umbrella. Donating dues, buying charity scarves, volunteering with tifo, participation in the Heart Walk and Oregon Food Bank opportunities. Any chance of bettering the community was taken. When your ethics exceed limitations, you take matters into your own hands.
With more and more families in our community going hungry, we had to do something about it. No one should go without food. With all the things that Timbers Army takes care of, I thought hunger was far more important than large paintings or more soccer fields. Children need to eat. As a child whose family received food from a local bank, I took this very personally. I've made it to a point in my life where I can feed myself; it was time to use my resources and willpower to feed every family I possibly could.
An APB was put out to anyone coming to an Eastern Bloc viewing party, and it was only two words: bring food. People did, in a way I never thought would happen. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds of cans, pasta noodles, anything nonperishable, weighing down the trunks of our cars. Every match, more people came and brought more food. That's when the games really began.
Timbers Army: Covert Ops, the regional subgroup in the Seattle area, decided to get in on the action. A friendly wager was made with Eastern Bloc stating whichever group collected the most food by season's end would be declared the winner, with the failing side creating a celebratory two-stick display glorifying the victors. The Cold Food War was underway. As there are no rules in war, Eastern Bloc reached out for assistance, forming a pact. Almost all the regional subgroups in Oregon and Washington came out of the woodwork to aid the effort. Jefferson Reserves, Echo Squadron, Mt. Bachelor Brigade, Northern Alliance, Sunset Division, and Mid-Valley Platoon (MVP) stepped up. They collected food at their viewing parties, adding to the steadily increasing pound total being donated to hungry people. By mid-season, I was almost speechless by everyone going so far above and beyond. By this time communication with the Oregon Food Bank was consistent. They shared with us that a donation of only a few dollars could go much further than some cans of food.
A challenge coin was issued to anyone wanting to participate, a patch was made, and several generous donations collected more money than we'd ever thought. All for pure donation, money that would feed family after family. By the end of the season, from all groups combined, there were 3,263 pounds of food donated. Somehow the ragtag groups of Timbers Army gathered over a ton of food. With all monetary donations collected, a fellow Eastern Blochead suggested the company they worked for could double that, which they in fact did. A check was made out to Oregon Food Bank for $8,941. From a simple desire to gather to watch soccer came that much food, that much money, and that much human spirit.
Eastern Bloc is proud to be a regional subgroup supporting team, town, and TA. We would like to continue going above and beyond for all of the Timbers Army. We're all people, together in this community. We love soccer, we love to help people, we love to chant and cheer. Negativity holds no value here.
In 2016 the Timbers Army regional subgroups together fed more people than can fit in Providence Park, twice. Expect to see something even more remarkable in 2017.
Swear like we do.
This post is authored by Michelle DeFord.
I remember waking up on November 9th, and I was mad as hell. I had already scheduled an appointment with Taylor, the fundraising coordinator from IRCO (Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization), the week before. During the month of December, I have previously tried to adopt a family or a cause; after asking Twitter for suggestions, a friend suggested IRCO. It seemed like such a good idea at the time. I was born and raised here. This is my hometown. I feel team, town, TA to my core, because it is my core. I love Portland so much, and I want other people to love Portland and know that Portland loves them as well, especially in the social climate that this election has made more visible.
Taylor showed me around the facility on NE Glisan one afternoon. We settled down into a room, and I had to ask, "How can we help?"
She explained to me that a lot of the families vary in size and ethnicity. She told me about a family of 25 from the Congo. She told me about a single mother of three from Afghanistan who wants to start a business as a basket weaver. I remember hearing all these stories and thinking that this was the perfect project for the Riveters and the TA. I have never had a bigger group of friends from all over the world than I do now as a 107ist. This seemed like an amazing organization to start a lasting relationship with.
Taylor went through the various drives they had previously had. The items the people mostly needed were items they could not buy with their state assistance. A lot of the time, this boils down to items like paper towels, soaps, shampoos, toilet paper, diapers, feminine hygiene products, and other personal items.
At the Green Weekend sale, between No Pity Originals and the Riveters Merch Crew, the 107ist was able to raise over $800 and a van full of donations, which were dropped off at the IRCO office the morning of December 5th.
After the Riveters and Timbers Army holiday parties, we had over $1,300 from raffles and various online donations. On December 18th, Rachel Harrison, Ray Terrill, Nate Moe, his wife Sarah, and their son, all headed to Costco to stock up on supplies. We managed to fill three flatbed carts and two large carts. After three loads back to the tifo warehouse and leaving Rachel at Costco (sorry Rachel), we managed to have a huge pile of goods to deliver to IRCO.
We had one more job we had to do.
Taylor had mentioned that a lot of the clients were African, and asked us to keep that in mind when buying hair supplies. I knew we had to go to MidK and pick up some proper hair stuff.
Ray, Rachel, and I really had no idea what kind of products we were looking for. The woman who helped us was awesome. She asked what we were looking for and we all were very upfront that we had no idea what to buy. She asked about the families, and I mentioned the one from the Congo. She told us her boyfriend was from the Congo, and she was happy to get to help us - she even stuffed my backpack full of free samples. She ended up picking out a lot of different things for us for all types of hair.
On Monday, December 19th, our delivery was much bigger than the first. We were able to fill a hallway with stuff purchased with donations and donated by 107IST. The staff helped us move the donations in to the building and sort things. It always felt silly yelling what we were collecting across the chilly tifo warehouse, or at the holiday parties, but seeing the look on the faces of the staff when they realized how much stuff we were delivering really made an impact on me. It's not silly, at all. These are items that these people really need, and they are so appreciative that we were giving all of this stuff to them.
You can still help. Boxes will be around until New Year's Eve, and are placed across Portland, at: Kells downtown, Café Town in the Lloyd Center Tower building, Rose City Futsal in Northeast Portland, the Fanladen during office hours, and donations are still being collected online at https://timbersarmy.org/107ist/donate - Make sure to select the IRCO Relief Fund.
Let's make our next donation even bigger.
In keeping with the 107 Independent Supporters Trust’s mission of supporting soccer from the grass roots to the highest professional level, our latest boost to local grass-roots soccer is a $12,500 donation this past week to Operation Pitch Invasion in support of their newest initiative, Project Blacktop.
Project Blacktop aims to put soccer in schoolyards alongside basketball, kickball, foursquare and hopscotch. With this initiative, now up and running in four Portland-area locations, OPI has created ways to build soccer spaces for kids at a scalable variety of prices and is preparing to share its knowledge and experience with fans throughout the nation to help them grow the game in their towns. Read the press release here.
We're delighted at the success of our sibling organization and proud of our role in its development. Did you know that:
Keep an eye out for volunteer opportunities with OPI through the 107IST in 2017! If you know of a location that could benefit from Project Blacktop, please contact OPI with details.
Congratulations to our four newest 107IST Board members: Ray Terrill, Stephan Lewis, Nick Brock, and Drew Picard. Their term starts January 1, 2017 and ends December 31, 2019.
Here's the breakdown of votes:
While we had a lower overall percentage of 107IST members voting in this election following the surge in membership we saw after the Cup win, the raw number of voters was up from previous years. Here's how that looked:
Sincere thanks again to all who ran this time. Also, thanks once again to the election committee, who did a fantastic job keeping all of this organized.
Welcome Basket Donation Drive
Like many of you, I’ve been dismayed by the torrent of xenophobic rhetoric engulfing our politics. After the election, I found myself searching for a way that I could make a positive impact, to not just get dragged down into the abyss of social media and comments sections, and feel like I’m actually making a difference in someone’s life. I wanted to show these very real human beings that they are welcome and valued in this community and country.
The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) was founded in Portland in 1976 and has been an integral part of the immigrant community in the 40 years since then, helping families adjust to their unfamiliar new surroundings, acclimate to the culture, and equip them with the life skills they need for success. I found many volunteer opportunities on their website but with a full-time day job and having never done something like this before, I thought that Saturday morning homework help would be a good place to start, get a feel for things, and maybe get more involved from there.
I met with some of the staff there and as you might imagine, it didn’t take long to start talking about soccer. His eyes lit up when I told him I was a season ticket holder. Naturally many of the kids play and love soccer, they have a team, and the girls want to start their own but need a coach (psst, that means you!). We talked of taking the kids to games and the TA coming to play with the kids (and I might have heard through the grapevine that a Timbers player wants to as well), sponsoring club dues, and finding them a place to play when the weather turns bad. The possibilities seem endless. I have visions of one of these kids donning the green and gold some day.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, our very own Michelle “Bella” DeFord had been talking to someone else at IRCO about doing a holiday “welcome basket” drive with basic household essentials that people cannot buy on public assistance. When Sheba learned of both our efforts, she connected us together like the good den mom that she is, and we will be collecting these items (or good old fashioned currency) at the Green Weekend sale this weekend and the TA holiday party on December 17th.
On Saturday, November 19th, Bella, Kyle “Caterjunes” Jones, and I went to IRCO to help the kids with their homework. We were all more than a little intimidated but each found a way to help. I dusted off my 20-year-old algebra skills (thanks in no small part to smartphones and Google), Bella helped a girl write an essay on Where the Wild Things Are, and Kyle helped another young woman write a college application essay (and shared a touching story about it on his Facebook page). It was an extremely rewarding experience and we plan to return - hopefully you can join us!
Before I really knew what I was doing, I filled out an application to become a one-on-one mentor. For only 10 hours a month over a year, you will be matched with a child based on shared mutual interests (gee, I wonder what that will be…) and you are there to serve as a friend and role model, plan activities together, help them with school, and just generally guide them into their new life. With no siblings or children and having never spent much time around kids, I don’t exactly know how to interact with or relate to them, but I hope that this will be a learning and growing experience not just for them, but for me as well. The need for mentors is great so please consider applying.
If you are interested in getting involved in any way, talk to me or Bella or just reach out to IRCO directly. Browse through their volunteer needs and find one that suits you, come help with homework or apply as a mentor, coach their girls’ soccer team, bring supplies to Green Weekend or the holiday party, or just give them some money. This is just the beginning; we look forward to a long relationship between IRCO and the TA. We are a stronger and better society when we are all in it together and they need you now more than ever.