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PORTLAND, Ore. (April 3, 2020) – In one very bright spot in these difficult days, the Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health teamed up to promote active, healthy lifestyles for Oregon children through their Moda Assist Program, now in its seventh year. At a time when we all are being reminded of the key role that parks and open spaces play in building healthy communities, three Oregon cities competed to win an all-abilities playground by engaging their citizens to vote for their city. St. Helens won with a final tally of 48,094 votes.  

“We are thankful for our partnership with Moda Health for supporting healthy, active living through the Moda Assist Program,” said Chris McGowan, President and CEO of the Trail Blazers. “We look forward to continuing the Moda Assist Program going forward and building more all-abilities playgrounds in the greater Oregon community.” 

“In these trying times, we’re all being reminded just how important it is for youngsters – for all youngsters – to embrace an active life,” said Dr. William JohnsonPresident of Moda Health. “We all know playgrounds can be key contributors to children’s physical and emotional health. That’s why we are so delighted to continue to partner with Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on this program. It touches lives throughout our state.” 

As passionate about helping kids play as he is about helping teammates score, Damian Lillard continues as the ambassador for the Moda Assist program, which donates $20 to the Trail Blazers Foundation for every assist made by the team during the season. Those funds go to help build all-abilities playgrounds in communities all across Oregon. Each year, three cities are selected and then fans can go online and vote. Voting this year began March 5 and ended April 2 for Astoria, St. Helens and Sandy. 

“We are very honored to win this competition and would like to thank Moda Health and the Trail Blazers for this opportunity to provide such a wonderful resource to the children in our community,” said Rick Scholl, Mayor of St. Helens. “We would also like to thank our amazing community members who took time each day to vote. We recognize the importance of parks in our community and have worked hard over the last several years to prioritize park and trail improvement projects in St. Helens. With this funding, we are excited to replace the old playground equipment at our highest utilized park with a much-needed upgrade that will benefit children of all-abilities. Once again, thank you to Moda Health and the Trail Blazers, and let’s go Rip City!” 

All three cities found creative ways to engage their communities and encourage voting.  

The Moda Assist program has provided funding for all-abilities playgrounds in Baker City, Redmond, La Grande, Portland, Medford and Hermiston. Last year’s winner, Baker City, is still in the planning stages for their new park. For more information, photos and video, visit or contact Karis Stoudamire-Phillips at 503-265-5637,

Despite the postponement of the 2019-20 NBA season, the financial contribution to winning community St. Helens will not be impacted and will remain consistent with previous seasons.  

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