Re-Booted Nike Freestyle Auction to Benefit Doernbecher Raises Over $1.1 Million

Re-Booted Nike Freestyle Auction to Benefit Doernbecher Raises Over $1.1 Million

Portland, OR. Update: Nike and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital put their annual benefit auction on hold last month when it was it was disrupted by troll bids. But the organizations were able to restart and all 17 pairs of the special-edition sneaker were successfully auctioned on eBay March 2nd – 7th. In total, the fund drive raised over $1.1 million. According to a collector’s company called Complex Sneakers, the shoes sold for an average of $33,239 per pair, with the highest selling for $52,900 and the lowest going for $22,523. It was a far cry from the over $2 million fraudulent early bid which shut down the auction.

“Without philanthropy like what we receive from Nike, its retailers and the Doernbecher Freestyle program, OHSU Doernbecher might not be able to open its doors to provide high-quality care to children across Oregon and the region,” says Dana Braner, M.D., FAAP, FCCM, Credit Unions for Kids chair and professor of pediatrics (critical care) in the OHSU School of Medicine and physical-in-chief for OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. “This support is vital. It not only saves lives today but will save and improve lives far into the future.”

Due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, instead of a range of shoes designed by children, Nike and Doernbecher settled on the “What The” themed Air Jordan 1. The special shoe was created using elements of Doernbecher Freestyle designs of the past. Unlike past years, the shoe wasn’t created for a wide release—instead, a very limited run of 17 pairs was produced.

“Featuring some of the most memorable elements from each of the program’s 14 previous Air Jordan sneaker designs, the exclusive Air Jordan 1 “What The” Doernbecher represents the teamwork, inspiration and creative spirit of the Doernbecher Freestyle program,” explained organizers.

Virtually Freestyle donor gifts, sponsorship and proceeds from an eBay auction – featuring 17 pairs of the coveted AJ 1 “What The” Doernbecher, and exclusive Doernbecher Freestyle apparel – raised more than $1.1 million to support OHSU Doernbecher. When coupled with a $1.8 million gift from Nike and its retail partners Shoe Palace, Sneaker Room and DTLR  from retail sales of the 2019 Doernbecher Freestyle collection, the cumulative total raised by the Doernbecher Freestyle program is now more than $30 million.

All funds raised benefit OHSU Doernbecher patients and staff in a variety of ways, from the delivery and discovery of advanced clinical treatment to emotional support and advocacy that helps to lift spirits and spread hope.

Below are photos of the specific details of the shoes:

Doernbecher Halts Online Bidding for Nike Freestyle Benefit After $2 Million Bid

Doernbecher Halts Online Bidding for Nike Freestyle Benefit After $2 Million Bid

Portland, OR.  Nike and OHSU Doernbecher are putting their annual benefit auction on hold while they vet some bidders. The 17th annual event called Virtually Freestyle was online. At one point, a shoe collector’s site reported the pair shown above was selling for more than $2 million. The auction was quickly stopped and Doernbecher released a statement that explained, “Out of an abundance of caution, the OHSU Foundation proactively halted the bidding process of Thursday’s Virtually Freestyle auction and is actively working to verify the authenticity of uncharacteristically high bids. We took these steps as added measures to existing security protocols.”

Due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, instead of a range of shoes designed by children, Nike and Doernbecher settled on the “What The” themed Air Jordan 1. The special shoe was created using elements of Doernbecher Freestyle designs of the past. Unlike past years, this shoe isn’t being prepped for a wide release—instead, a very limited run of 17 pairs was produced.

In honor of the 17th year of the program, only 17 pairs of the Air Jordan I “What The” Doernbecher were created. The first Air Jordan I “What The” Doernbecher, with a custom lasered box, was supposed to kick off the auction. Then the remaining 16 pair were suposed to be auctioned on Feb. 26th, but all the bidding has been put on hold.

Nike Product Director, Lee Banks with Freestyle XIV designer, Brody Miller in 2014. Since 2003, Nike and OHSU Doernbecher have collaborated with young designers for Doernbecher Freestlye event. Children battling serious illnesses design some of Nike and Jordan Brand’s most popular sneakers.

Typically, a group of children ages 8 to 15 are selected to work with Nike designers on a range of footwear that’s eventually released to the public. Doernbecher Freestyle raises money and awareness for the hospital. Over the years, the event has raised more than $29 million for the hospital, including $1,898,525 from the 2019 collection.

The children’s hospital is investigating what happened during a kickoff auction on February 25th when bidding on the first pair hit the $2 million dollar mark. For some perspective, last May Michael Jordan’s game-worn, autographed, Nike Air Jordan 1S from 1985 sold for $560,000 at a Sotheby’s auction. That was a world record price.

Doernbecher officials explained what they plan to do going forward with the following statement:

Doernbecher Freestyle adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with a reputable online auction vendor to coordinate Virtually Freestyle, the program’s first event, and auction to take place solely online.

The OHSU Foundation is committed to following best practices and ensuring a fair auction. Event attendees interested in submitting bids for Virtually Freestyle auction items, including a special Air Jordan 1 “What The” Doernbecher, were required to agree to a robust Terms and Conditions contract. Bidders were also required to register using a valid credit card number, as a part of the authentication process completed by the online auction vendor.

To allow us the necessary time to reaffirm the validity and security of this and future online bidding processes, we have postponed the online auction of the sixteen remaining pairs of the Air Jordan 1 “What The” Doernbecher previously scheduled to begin Friday, Feb. 26. We will share additional information regarding the status and availability of Virtually Freestyle auction items at a later date.

Doernbecher Freestyle fans, including those that joined us from across the globe for Thursday’s event, know how much the program means to the patients, families, and staff at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. We are grateful to Nike, our community members, donors, and sponsors for their support of OHSU Doernbecher, and the young patient-designers behind every Doernbecher Freestyle collection.

Designers call the shoes an unforgettable tribute to former patient-designers, seen through the vault of Air Jordan: an Air Jordan I “What The” Doernbecher, featuring elements from each of the program’s 14 Air Jordan designs.

Below are photos of the specific details of the shoes:

1,500 Local Volunteers Set to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy During Weekend of Service

1,500 Local Volunteers Set to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy During Weekend of Service

Portland, OR. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has nearly 1,500 volunteer opportunities across 60 community projects as part of the 13th Annual MLK Weekend of Service. Click here for a link to a list of volunteer options from Hands-on Greater Portland.

“Dr. King’s legacy of service continues to inspire and remind Oregonians that we all have a role to play in bettering the health of our communities,” says Angela Dowling, President of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “Regence and our employees are proud to celebrate our fifth year partnering with United Way in support of this mission.”

Clean Up and Green Up is a volunteer project at Portland Audubon.

The event is presented by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and supported by Intel, Nike, Dunn Carney, Tonkon Torp LLP, Umpqua Bank, with special thanks to U.S. Bank.

From sprucing up libraries and school gardens to sorting books for kids to packaging donated food for families in need – MLK Weekend of Service offers countless opportunities for community members to give back and help build Dr. King’s vision throughout the Portland metro region.

“Our MLK Weekend of Service is an incredible opportunity for people to come together to honor Dr. King’s legacy,” says Cindy Adams, President and CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. “With over sixty volunteer projects and 1,500 volunteers across the region this year, community members can continue striving for the changes Dr. King championed – including ending poverty and advancing racial equity – and make a real impact for tens of thousands of children and families.”

This year’s event also kicks off United Way’s centennial celebration. Since 1920 your local United Way has been bringing the community together to do good. In addition to honoring Dr. King’s legacy, this MLK Weekend we also celebrate United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s historic role in strengthening schools, families, and communities across the region.

  • The event runs from Friday, January 17 through Monday, January 20 with volunteer projects each day.
  • The event is organized by United Way’s volunteer program, Hands On Greater Portland.
  • MLK Weekend of Service is an integral part of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s 10-year agenda focused on reducing childhood poverty and advancing racial equity.

Here’s a list of some of the options for volunteer activities:

Friday: January 17:

  1. Beaverton High School Student Success Week: Join us for painting, creating signage, interior planting
    1. 8:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: Beaverton HS: 13000 SW 2nd St. Beaverton, OR 97008
  2. Hands Dirty but Hearts Filled: Help spruce up the Day Center organizing bookshelves, cleaning furniture and windows, picking up around the property
    1. 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    2. Location: 2nd floor of Sunset Presbyterian Church: 14986 NW Cornell Rd. Portland, OR 97229
  3. VOSE Elementary School (Beaverton School District): Help spruce up the school grounds
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 11350 SW Denney Rd. Beaverton, OR

Saturday: January 18:

  1. American Red Cross: Install free smoke alarms and educate households on fire safety
    1. 9:30 am-2:30 pm
    2. Location: Portland Red Cross office: 3131 N Vancouver Ave. Portland, OR 97227
  2. Schoolhouse Supplies: Sort books by grade level for the Free Store for Teachers
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 4916 NE 122nd Portland, OR 97230

Sunday: January 19:

  1. Q Center: Join us for a day of beautification at the largest LGBTQ2SIA+ community center in the Pacific NW
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 4115 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR
  2. The Children’s Book Bank: Sort, spruce up and bundle community donated books for children
    1. 10 am-11 am
    2. Location: 1915 NE 7th AVE. Portland, OR 97217
  3. Hillsboro Public Library: Help “weed” the library shelves and organize the supply closet
    1. 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
    2. Location: Shute Park Library: 775 SE 10th Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97124

Monday (MLK Day): January 20:

  1. Bink-A-Thon: Make blankets for children
    1. 9:30 am-1:30 pm
    2. Location: Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005
  2. SnowCap Community Garden Clean-Up: Help weed, prune, haul and spread cedar chips
    1. 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    2. Location: 17805 SE Stark St. Portland, OR 97233
  3. Oregon Food Bank (Portland): Repack food donations into family-size portions
    1. 10 am-11 am
    2. Location: Portland location: 7900 NE 33rd Dr. Portland, OR 97211
  4. Native Gathering Garden at Cully: Help with weeding and general upkeep of the garden
    1. 10:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 5810 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR
  5. SOLVE: Clean up MLK Blvd
    1. 10:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: Irving Park 707 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
  6. P:ear: Cook meals & tidy up for homeless youth
    1. 1:30 pm-3 pm
    2. Location: 338 NW 6th Ave Portland, OR 97209
  7. Oregon Food Bank (Beaverton): Repack food donations into family-size portions
    1. 1:30 pm-3 pm
    2. Location: Beaverton location: 1870 NW 173rdAve. Beaverton, OR 97006

The University of Portland is inaugurating an annual MLK Day event with local writer, activist, educator and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha leading a discussion on the question, “Why aren’t there more black people in Oregon?”

The event is titled MLK Day ON 2020: Engage. Reflect. Serve. It also will feature guest singer Julianne Johnson, a 1983 graduate and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and songwriter.

What: MLK Day ON 2020

When: 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20

Where: University of Portland’s Buckley Center Auditorium, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. (Overflow room: Brian Doyle Auditorium in Dundon-Berchtold Hall)

Admission: Free, but RSVP to Everbrite at

35th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute

The Skanner Foundation is hosting its 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.

What: 34th annual Skanner Breakfast

When: 8:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20

Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Portland

Tickets: To reserve individual tickets or tables, go to

In addition, numerous local organizations and institutions hold annual volunteer MLK Day of Service activities. There is no central directory, but you can find them by searching online.

Each of these projects will have a United Way staff member or Volunteer Leader available onsite to answer questions. If you need more information prior to the event, or if you know that your media outlet will be attending one of the projects, please call Kristen Lambert at United Way (contact info listed above).

For a full list of volunteer activities throughout the weekend, please visit:


About United Way

At United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, we have a simple, ambitious vision – to invest in our region’s kids so they are free from poverty in order to be free to reach their potential. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been bringing our community together to do good for nearly 100 years. We’re uniquely positioned to connect and support the people, nonprofits, businesses and government agencies working hard to address poverty in our region. When we invest in our region’s kids, we free the future. For more information and to get involved please visit


Wonderball Raises $1.27 Million for Children’s Cancer Association

Wonderball Raises $1.27 Million for Children’s Cancer Association

Portland, OR. The Children’s Cancer Association (CCA) raised $1.27 million at its 19th annual Wonderball gala on September 28th. It was CCA’s biggest event of the year, which helps fuel its mission to prescribe joy to seriously ill children through free innovative programming that leverages music, friendship and nature. Founder Regina Ellis, who is pictured with friends and family, welcomed more than 950 supporters to the Oregon Convention Center for the gala. A Joie de Vivre theme celebrated French culture and the joy of life.

Cedric Berry, Board Member, CCA and Insurance Agent, State Farm; Sarah Berry, Vice President and Director of Business Development, McGee Wealth Management; and Campbell Kidd, Managing Partner, Red Hills Acquisitions, LLC

Kristofor Lofgren, CEO and Founder, Sustainable Restaurant Group

Ron Penner-Ash, Board Member, CCA and Winemaker 

Clare Hamill, Founding Board Chair, CCA and VP, Nike Growth Initiatives and Judi Davis

Scott Burton, Vice Board Chair, CCA and Director of Revenue Management & Portfolio Positioning, Cambia Health Solutions; Allison Clarke, Co-Chair, Ambassador Board, CCA and President, Allison Clarke Consulting; Brian Dickinson, CEO of Asset Protection Partnership; Regina Ellis

Ed Kinateder; Andy Lytle, Board Chair Emeritus, CEO, At the Joy, and Co-Founder Lytle-Barnett; Tara Kinateder, Board Treasurer & Finance Chair, CCA and Executive Vice President, Ferguson Wellman Capital Management

Kevin Dodson, Vice President/CFL, Global Basketball Footwear, Nike; Susan Dodson, Partner, Right On Accounting LLC; Jim Ford, NIKE SuperCore Footwear, DVP; Greg Smith, Category Footwear Leader, Men’s Training Footwear, Nike; Kim Smith; Aaron Cooper, Innovation Expert, Nike, Inc.; Barry Naone, Senior Director Product Creation, Nike Basketball; Julie Moraes; Myron Moraes, Sr. Development and Innovation Director at Nike

Mimes interacting with guests in the hallways before the main event

Erin Tamblyn performing in opening number, “Lady Marmalade.”

Anthony Chan dancing in opening number.

Family speaker, Heidi Bruno shares emotional story before live appeal

CCA-served Levi Seed shares an inspiring speech CCA’s impact during his cancer treatment

John Simpson, Board Member, CCA and startup advisor; and his guests

Blisan and Bill Foudy, President, Target Sourcing Service and CCA Board Member

Eric Gill, President/CEO, Gill’s Point S Tire and Auto; Peter Kwong, Board Member, CCA and Audit Shareholder, Director of Assurance & Advisory, Perkins & Co; Brent Bracelin, Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst, Piper Jaffray; Ian Lombard, Scott Lawrence, founder of Breakside Brewery and CCA Board Member

Eileen McNulty, Physician Assistant, NW Dermatology Institute; Carlene Pride-Sarpong, Founder of Pride Group NW and Managing Broker and Development Specialist at Compass; John Powers, Co Ambassador Board Chair, CCA and Director of Sales, Xperience Real Estate, PDX Property Group; Stephen Bowdon, Department of Neurological Surgery, OHSU; Chris Suarez, CEO of PDX Property Group at Keller Williams; Kristi Weidner

Jesuit High School students and Paul Hogan, (4th from left) Board Member, CCA and Principal, Jesuit High School

John Duley, Co-Founder, Dream Again; Genesis Trujilo, Design Project Manager, Portland General Electric; Chase Renton, Owner and Winemaker, L’Angolo Estate; Noelle Harvey; Marcus Harvey, Founder, Portland Gear; Kelsey Fuson, Marketing Manager, BurnCycle; Jessi Duley, Board Member, CCA and Founder, BurnCycle

CCA-served child, Maria, and CCA Chemo Pal Specialist, Amelia, selling raffle tickets in French attire

Mary and Dana Braner, Chair, OHSU Department of Pediatrics

“Because we know that joy is medicine. We are creating a gold standard for delivering joy-based programming that will one day reach every child in the country who’s facing serious illness,” said Regina Ellis, Founder and Chief Joy Officer at CCA. “Together we have fought to deliver joy to the children and their families of this community. And now we have the opportunity to take what we’ve made here and share it with children across the nation.”

Guests enjoyed live gypsy-jazz music courtesy of the Hot Club on Hawthorne, as they explored a curated silent auction room decorated to resemble a French outdoor marketplace.

The French outdoor theme followed throughout the lobby with vintage bicycles, an antique Citroen car, fresh baguettes and lavender, live painting and, of course, mimes. In addition to creating an outdoor French marketplace environment in the lobby and halls, CCA recreated imagery of the Moulin Rouge inside the main ballroom, including a miniature model of the windmill on the main stage.

The main event opened with a rendition of Patty LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade” sung by Erin Tamblyn and Malia Tippets and augmented with performances by local drag queens: Anthony Chan, Jeremy Sloan, Chadwick Anderson and Erin Shannon. The master of ceremonies for the night, Stacey Murdock, who recently played Gaston in the Portland Opera’s recent production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” carried the program through to the end, where Danielle Barker performed an upbeat cover of “La vie en Rose” to close out the night.

The dinner program featured a record-breaking paddle raise led by auctioneer Kelly Russell of Artisan Auctions. Late-night revelers also enjoyed an after-party with DJ Stray at District East, which carried over the French theme and was hosted by CCA’s young professional board.

Here’s a video about CCA’s programs:

Here’s a link to more information about the Children’s Cancer Association:

Nike Benefits as Women’s World Cup Breaks Global TV Viewership Records

Nike Benefits as Women’s World Cup Breaks Global TV Viewership Records

Portland, OR. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is underway in France and over the first weekend of play, at least one sports network reported a 11% rise in viewership compared to the 2015 tournament. A surge in viewers is positive news for Portland-based Nike, because the company will get more eyes on its new advertisements, several of which have a “girl power” message.

Online viewership of the Women’s World Cup streaming content has spikes 310% compared to 2015.

Many U.S. viewers are cheering for the defending champions, the U.S. Women’s National Team, which won its first game against Thailand on Tuesday. The USA team will play its second game against Chile on Sunday, June 16th. Amid the sport’s growing popularity, Nike is debuting a short film to inspire young girls.

The new advertisement was created by Portland’s Wieden + Kennedy for Nike. It’s called called “Dream Further.” Here’s a look at the messaging for young women:

The new campaign is an extension of the “Kids are made to play” messaging aimed at drawing attention the importance of keeping kids active.

For more information about “Kids are made to play here’s a link:

The FIFA Women’s World Cup runs through July 7th.