Portland community helps Timbers kick off 2012 season at annual luncheon
PORTLAND, Ore. – While First Kick against the Philadelphia Union is still over a week away, the Portland Timbers formally kicked off their second MLS season today, by playing host to their second-annual Kick-Off Luncheon on Friday at The Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.
Presented by Alaska Airlines and the Portland Business Alliance, the Kick-Off Luncheon afforded members of the Portland business community as well as supporters the opportunity to meet and talk to coaches and players as well as share in the excitement for the upcoming season felt through the city.
Hosted by Timbers broadcaster John Strong, the program featured addresses from Timbers Owner and President Merritt Paulson and head coach John Spencer. The players helped create some lasting memories, signing autographs and joining in at the lunch tables.
“This event is a great opportunity to get to know our players and see the team that we’ll see and cheer for all season long,” said Bill Hueffner, an executive for Timbers founding partner JELD-WEN Windows & Doors. “Last year was so successful and there was so much emotion around every match. It’s obvious that the same attachment (between the Timbers and the community) is already here, even before this season has started.”
Amongst the excitement and palpable buzz throughout the ballroom was the talk of expectations and goals set for the 2012 campaign. Nearly unanimous from players, coaches and executives, the Timbers have their sights set on reaching the playoffs and winning an MLS Cup.
As part of the Kick-Off Luncheon, the team also held a silent auction, offering signed jerseys, photo opportunities and exclusive experiences, with proceeds benefitting the Portland Timbers Community Fund.
“When you have a team you have an affinity for and can relate to, it’s great for everyone,” said Hueffner. “There’s a genuine love for this team and this organization. I think Portland and even Oregon have embraced the Timbers.”