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Trail Blazer ambassadors will stop in several cities next week, including Madras, on Sept. 13.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - The Trail Blazer ambassadors will visit Madras for a Rip City Rally at the Madras City Hall on Thursday, Sept. 13, from 4-6 p.m. The event will be held in the plaza in front of City Hall.A team of Portland Trail Blazer ambassadors will be heading to Madras, Thursday, Sept. 13, for the sixth annual Rip City Rally, part of a weeklong visit to cities east of the Cascades.

"The Rip City Rally is a great opportunity to bring the excitement and energy of the Trail Blazers all over Oregon, reminding fans that we're not just Portland's team — we're Oregon's team," said Chris McGowan, president and CEO of the Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter. "It's a great way to show our appreciation and connect with fans in their local communities to get excited about the upcoming Trail Blazers season. We're proud to have our partner Moda with us to continue to build healthier communities across Oregon."

Trail Blazers and Moda partners will tip off the event at 4 p.m., outside Madras City Hall, with a Rip City flag-raising. That will be followed, from 4-6 p.m., with a free community fair, featuring fun for the whole family, and the opportunity to interact and play basketball with Trail Blazers personalities, take photos with the 1977 NBA championship trophy, and win game tickets and other prizes.

The event, which will include vendors, will be held on the Veterans Memorial Plaza in front of the City Hall, at 125 SW E St. The Blazers will have a portable basketball court.

"Our partnership with the Trail Blazers has always been all about building healthier communities," said Dr. William Johnson, president of Moda Health. "The Rip City Rally is an exciting opportunity for us to engage with people across Oregon and to listen to their stories. The goal is that in the end, we can be better together."

Beginning Monday, Sept. 10, a team of Trail Blazers and Moda ambassadors and staff will embark on a journey to cities and towns across Oregon, engaging with Trail Blazers fans all along the way. The event brings Oregon communities together with energy and enthusiasm to showcase the Trail Blazers as "Oregon's Team."

Klamath Falls will be the starting point of this year's rally on Sept. 10. From there, the rally team will be traveling north to Bend on Tuesday, Sept. 11, Prineville on Wednesday, Sept. 12, Madras on Thursday, Sept. 13, and finishing in Hood River on Friday, Sept. 14.

An entire day of events is being scheduled in each city along the route. As part of the Trail Blazers' and Moda's partnership to showcase healthy and active living, events will focus on providing activities for kids, including school assemblies, Youth Basketball PE Takeovers and on-court Youth Basketball Activations at the Rip City Rally.

The visit in each city along the route will conclude with a ceremonial flag raising with city officials, followed by the Rip City Rally, a free community fair from 4-6 p.m. featuring activities for all ages.

Supporting partners of this year's rally include COUNTRY Financial, Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power and Windermere Real Estate.

Affiliates in the Trail Blazers Radio Network will participate in the festivities in each city, with KRCO 690 AM and 96.9 FM in Madras and Prineville.

Many Trail Blazers personalities will participate in different legs of the rally, including Trail Blazers TV broadcasters Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd, courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam, Trail Blazers alumni Brian Grant and Bob Gross, in-arena host Todd Bosma, Blaze the Trail Cat, the BlazerDancers and more.

Visit www.trailblazers.com/rally to get updates about the rally.

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