A community-driven foundation named in honor of the late Trail Blazer great Maurice Lucas to bring after-school education, mentoring and athletic programs for under-served students at Harriet Tubman Middle School and six local high schools is celebrating the results from a recent celebration and auction that raised more than $757,000, a record, for the nonprofit organization.
More than 600 attendees gathered for the event held Sept. 7 at the Portland Hilton.
Maurice Lucas was the leading scorer on the 1977 NBA champion Portland Trail Blazers and a strong supporter of local youth. He touched the lives of many through his giving ways.
David Lucas, Lucas’ son and the foundation’s founder and executive director, served as the gala’s master of ceremonies. He is continuing his father’s legacy of community service.
“We created the Maurice Lucas Foundation in 2010 to honor my dad, Maurice “The Enforcer,” he told the crowd.
The dinner featured many of the students who have already advanced through the foundation’s program, some now college freshmen and eligible for the foundation’s Howard Hedinger Memorial Scholarship. Two of them received Jordan Brand Wings scholarships.
“Our students are hungry for the future, and they stand on the shoulders of so many of you in the room tonight to be able to pursue their dreams,” said David Lucas. He also led a toast to the foundation with his mother, Pam and his brother, Maurice Lucas II.
Former Blazers Bill Walton, Bobby Gross and Lionel Hollins, and current Trail Blazer Zach Collins, presented the foundation’s annual Maurice Lucas Enforcer Award to family members of the late Howard Hedinger, a Portland philanthropist, a friend of Maurice and a strong supporter of the foundation.
The glittering array of sports stars and local dignitaries also included Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts and local philanthropists Mike and Karie Richardson, Vanessa Morgan, Bob Quillin and Rick Stanley. Trail Blazer broadcaster Kevin Calabro again served as emcee. Attendees danced into the morning hours at an after party featuring official Blazer DJ O.G. One.