Portland, OR. 600 supporters were on hand for the Maurice Lucas Foundation dinner including, David Lucas, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard. The seventh annual benefit on raised a total of $520,000 (including proceeds from the dinner on September 22nd and a golf event on the 23rd) to support the foundation’s after-school education, mentoring and sports programs for under-served children in Portland, including its newly established Howard Hedinger College Scholarship Fund.
The benefit was sponsored by Nike, Jordan Brand and the Portland Trail Blazers. A number of current and former Trail Blazers attended the dinner in honor of their late teammate: Bill Walton, Bobby Gross, Lloyd Neal, Lionel Hollins, Corky Calhoun and announcer Bill Schonely from the 1977 NBA Championship team; as well as head coach Terry Stotts, announcer Michael Holton and players Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Noah Vonleh and Pat Connaughton from the current roster.
Foundation Ambassador Board members Walton and Hollins joined foundation Executive Director David Lucas in presenting the Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award to Nike executive Larry Miller.
The award is given annually to an individual who best embodies many of the characteristics that its namesake displayed both on and off the basketball court, including motivating and empowering kids. Walton and Hollins are among the award’s past recipients.
Fall Fundraisers for the nonprofit included both a dinner at the Portland Hilton and a Celebrity Golf Tournament on, Sept. 23rd, at the Reserve Golf Course in Aloha. The 14th annual golf invitational attracted 115 competitors and raised $70,000. Each foursome included a celebrity, such as former Blazers Brian Grant, T.R. Dunn, Michael Harper and Terry Porter; and NBA Hall of Fame member Alex English and former player Gus Williams. Wildhorse Resort & Casino served as the presenting sponsor and Mercedes-Benz of Portland served as official vehicle sponsor.
“These funds will enable us to continue providing life-changing opportunities for under-served middle school students,” said Executive Director Lucas, son of the late Maurice Lucas. “Our foundation stands as a continuance of my father’s dedication to helping kids learn, achieve, grow and build positive values. The Maurice Lucas Foundation is proud to carry on his work.”
The winning team won the opportunity to compete at the Mercedes-Benz Sectional Championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla on Oct. 5-9.
From The Maurice Lucas Foundation:
The Maurice Lucas Foundation teaches kids lessons they can use to help them realize their dreams. Our academies show the importance of hard work, respect and leadership both in the classroom and on the court.
The number 20 hangs in the rafters of The Rose Garden, home to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, honoring a great man. Maurice Lucas had a storied 14-year career in professional basketball, but off the court is where Maurice built his legacy. Maurice was truly a pillar in the Portland, Oregon community he called home. He touched the lives of many through his giving ways. Maurice passed away on October 31, 2010 at the age of 58. Today, the Maurice Lucas Foundation carries on his legacy by working with youth to help them realize their individual potential.