Portland, OR. Most piano teachers and students aren’t able to sit side-by-side these days; they’re learning via zoom. That’s the case with the young teachers at the Play It Forward Foundation. It was originally established by famous Portland pianist Michael Allen Harrison and has aimed to keep young musicians moving forward since its inception. It primarily operates with two distinct missions: the first is to take in donated instruments (primarily pianos) to rehouse them in public school programs and student homes; the second aims to keep these musicians in lessons while offering new teachers consistent work.
The first mission, wherein donated instruments are rehoused into public school programs and particularly talented young musicians’ homes, is just a part of how the Play It Forward Foundation is helping the community. The program’s Executive Director, Marietta Harrison, says that they look at nearly three hundred pianos a year, ultimately accepting around one hundred of these (with sometimes up to five calls a day for potential donations). These pianos are vetted and reconditioned prior to being donated in order to offer better services to the school programs or child’s home they end up in. In a time when public school’s art funding seems to be ever-declining, the organization pays for these services out of pocket in order to better serve the community.
With classes moved entirely online for the foreseeable future, potential barriers are further erased.
Rather than simply donating and dipping, so to speak, the second part of their mission aims to keep a consistent hand within Portland’s musical community. The nonprofit’s goal here is to remove any potential barriers between the students and their music– whether that be economic, logistical, or otherwise. Started in 2017 with a mere twelve students, the program was up to one hundred students by 2019.
Online piano recitals with both Michael and Marietta Harrison present.
Prior to the COVID pandemic, the program would offer work to young teachers seeking experience who would often travel to the school or the student’s home in order to better erase these potential barriers faced. Currently, the program has gone completely online and classes are being held through Zoom meetings. Given everything going on in the world right now, Marietta Harrison says that this program has always aimed to be proactive rather than reactive; establishing itself in the community as an organization that erases barriers for students and encourages musical growth.
About Play it Forward:
Nearly 20 years ago, the City of Portland passed a measure that cut critical funding to music education in our public schools. Having benefited from free music education in public schools, that eventually led to a successful career as a composer and pianist, Michael Allen Harrison could not watch this happen silently. Play It Forward, affectionately known as PIF was born. Play It Forward distributes gently used instruments gifted by donors to students and music programs throughout the Portland Metropolitan Community.
If you’d like to donate to a great cause, you can do so here.
Portland, OR. The Maurice Lucas Foundation held its 16th annual Celebrity Golf Invitational tournament at The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club in Aloha on July 25th. Pam and David Lucas address the crowd at Invitational tournament. David is the son of the late Trail Blazer and NBA all-star, and Pam is his widow. They started the foundation to honor Maurice’s legacy of serving the needs of local children. David serves as the executive director of the foundation and Pam serves on its board. The event raised almost $100,000 to support the academic and athletic programs, sports camps and post-secondary education scholarships the foundation provides to underserved middle school students in the Portland area. (Photo credit, Kris Cavin)
Former Portland Trail Blazer announcer Bill Schonely was among the celebrities and local sportsmen who competed in16th annual Celebrity Golf Invitational tournament.
Former Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson and former Jackass cast member Ehren “Danger” McGhehey were among the celebrities participating.
The winning team of the Maurice Lucas Foundation’s Celebrity Golf Invitational tournament pose with their trophies. From Mass Mutual, they are Kasey Closs, Jason Daily, Justin Smithhiesler and Robbie Ziegler. The team will receive a free trip to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, where it will compete in the Mercedes Benz national golf tournament in October.
The 150 participating golfers prepare to start their carts at the beginning of the Maurice Lucas Foundation’s Celebrity Golf Invitational in Aloha.
Executive Director David Lucas poses with former Trail Blazer Martell Webster.
First Republic Bank was the title sponsor. Mercedes Benz of Portland and Mercedes Benz of Beaverton were among the additional sponsors.
The field of 150 golfers included many celebrities and former members of the 1977 champion Trail Blazers, including Bill Schonely, Larry Steel, Bobby Gross, Lloyd Neil, Cliff Robinson, Ehren “Danger” McGhehey, Greg Smith, Tom Gorman, Mike Walters, Antonio Harvey, Ken Boddie, Martell Webster, Michael Allen Harrison, Scott Haskins, Charlie Sitton, Steve Johnson, John McCullough and Dale Osbourne.
The winning team from Mass Mutual included Kasey Closs, Jason Daily, Justin Smithhiesler and Robbie Ziegler. They will receive a free trip to Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina and compete in the Mercedes Benz national golf tournament in October.
The golf tournament is one of the nonprofit foundation’s major sources of funds. The tournament continues a tradition started decades ago by the late Maurice Lucas, the leading scorer on the 1977 NBA championship Trail Blazers team. The foundation’s other major fundraiser, its ninth annual Celebration Dinner and After Party, will take place Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Portland Hilton. Go to ML20.org for tickets and more information.
NONPROFIT BENEFIT TICKET GIVEAWAYS!
Sign up for our free weekly highlights for the chance to win two tickets terrific nonprofit events! If you "like" us on facebook, or sign up for our weekly news highlights, you'll be entered to win! Sign up today!
Look for another ticket giveaway soon! Are you a nonprofit looking to bolster your publicity with facebook and tweets? Email us and we'll run a contest with tickets to your event! [email protected]