Portland, OR. The nonprofit Maurice Lucas Foundation announced a new college scholarship program to provide qualifying participants as much as $5,000 toward their post-high school education. Maurice Lucas Foundation Executive Director (and son of the NBA star) David Lucas welcomed guests. He was joined by his mother, board member Pamela Lucas who thanked Portland area business leader Howard Hedinger for kicking off the fundraising drive with a $25,000 donation. “Howard has been one of our strongest supporters since our very beginning in 2011,” said David Lucas. “As a result of his generous gift, we are naming our scholarship program in his honor. Of course, we invite others to follow Howard’s lead and join us in supporting this great cause.” (Photo credit, Andie Petkus)

Other guests at the celebration included former Trail Blazer Brian Grant.

The event was held in a party room in S.E. Portland.

Former Trail Blazer Bobby Gross is also a board member of the foundation.

The foundation’s teachers, mentors, tutors and coaches provide after-school education and sports programs to underserved Portland area students though its Maurice Lucas Foundation Academies. The nonprofit has a long-standing relationship with Irvington Middle School where participating students’ attendance and grades have improved dramatically.

“We help children learn, achieve, grow and build positive values,” David Lucas explained. “We focus our energies on helping middle school students. This new scholarship program enables us to continue assisting these students as they progress through high school and provide incentive for continuing their education.”

Academy participants will be able to receive up to $1,250 per year for up to four years if they fulfill the scholarship program’s academic and community involvement requirements. The foundation’s first group of eligible students will graduate high school in 2019.

The foundation has set a fundraising goal of $110,000 for the scholarship program. Those interested in supporting it can contact Lucas at (503) 880-4323.

The foundation honors the memory of Maurice Lucas, who died in 2010. He was the starting power forward on the Trail Blazers’ 1976–77 NBA Championship team.

About the Foundation:

The foundation is named in honor of Maurice Lucas (1952-2010), the starting forward on the 1977 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers team. Besides his outstanding achievements on the court, Lucas also gave selflessly of his time and energy to Portland youth. The Maurice Lucas Foundation focuses on middle school kids in the Portland metro area. The foundation teaches life lessons through sport. After school programs, sports camps and outings change the lives of the youths who participate. Since its formation, 436 students have successfully completed the foundation’s academies and hundreds of others have participated in its sports programs. www.ml20.org