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New facilities at WHS the product of community collaboration with Portland Timbers, Thorns, sponsors

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn High School's two new futsal courts sit next to the schools tennis courts and were a collaborative project  between the Woodburn School District and the Portland Timbers and Thorns, along with philanthropic organizations Operation Pitch Invasion, Stand For All and Fields For All, along with sponsors Adidas, Key Bank, Providence Health and Services, and Squires Electric. With the joint striking of nearly a dozen balls into the back of the net, the Woodburn girls varsity soccer team officially opened Woodburn High School's two new futsal courts on Thursday afternoon.

The ceremonial event, which took place instead of a ribbon-cutting, was the final touch on a months-long collaborative effort. The project began earlier this year when Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce President Melinda Avila reached out to the Portland Timbers to see if they would be willing to sponsor the community's Flavor de Futbol tournament in July.

"That led to conference calls, which led to site visits, which brings us here today," WSD Director of Human Resources Casey Woolley said at the court's opening ceremony. "Without community collaboration, board support and a shared vision of access and equity for the Woodburn community, projects like this don't happen."

"Community" was the theme of the afternoon for the event, and rightly so. The collaboration that brought in a pair of new athletic courts estimated at roughly $100,000 was a partnership between the Woodburn School District and the Portland Timbers and Thorns, along with philanthropic organizations Operation Pitch Invasion, Stand For All and Fields For All, along with sponsors Adidas, Key Bank, Providence Health and Services, and Squires Electric.

"They've all pitched in to bring two new futsal courts to the Woodburn community," said Joey Webber, better known as Timbers mascot Timber Joey. "Without their support, it would not be possible."

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - The Woodburn High School varsity girls soccer team, along Portland Timbers players Marvin Loria and Renzo Zambrano pose in front of the northern-most goal of the school districts new futsal courts.Woodburn school officials see the new futsal courts as the continuation of the revitalization of the Woodburn School District athletic facilities at the high school, which is designed to make the high school an attractive community hub for Woodburn residents to enjoy.

Much like the neighboring tennis courts a few feet over, the futsal courts will be utilized by the school district during school hours and be available to the public to play after hours.

The addition is in line with Fields For All, a Portland Timbers-based program that seeks out communities under-served by recreational activities for kids and fills them with safe, healthy and high-quality playing surfaces.

"Since 2019, the Timbers have been a part of 17 field and futsal court dedications," Timbers and Thorns Vice President of Community Relations Kristel Wissel said. "With our partners, we have contributed over $1.1 million."

The grand-opening event was serenaded by the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band to open the festivities and concluded with a barbecue on the newly-built javelin runway for the track and field facilities.

"Without community collaboration, board support and a shared vision of access and equity for the Woodburn community, projects like this don't happen," Woolley said.

PMG PHOTO: PHIL HAWKINS - Portland Timbers mascot Joey Webber — aka Timber Joey — welcomed community members to the grand-opening celebration of the new futsal courts on Thursday.


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