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Seahawks bring super fun to young fans in Reynolds district

Super Bowl champs say they wanted to bring inspiration following shooting


by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Phil Bates, left, and Doug Baldwin, right, wide receivers for the Seattle Seahawks, sign jerseys for young fans as Gresham city councilor Lori Stegmann looks on.

Seattle Seahawks pride reigned at Margaret Scott Elementary School Thursday, July 10, as the 2014 Super Bowl champs hosted a field day for East County Boys & Girls Club families.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Kemarey Fuller, 11, an incoming sixth-grader at H.B. Lee Middle School who was decked out in a Seahawks jersey and cap. “This is a really amazing day for me. I’m very glad the Seahawks chose this school and I hope they win next year’s Super Bowl.”

Feb. 2, 2014, the Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos 43-8, winning their first Super Bowl Championship. Amid their 12 Tour, which celebrates the 2014 win and ramps up excitement for the upcoming season, the Seahawks made their stop in the Reynolds School District.

Tony Ventrella, a digital media host for the Seahawks, said the team’s heart went out to the school district after last month’s shooting at Reynolds High School. The team hoped to offer a sense of hope and inspiration to the community.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Yasmin and Maria Galdamez and Kemarey Fuller, center, speak about what the Seahawks' visit meant to them during the Thursday, July 10 event.

Students participating in after school and summer programs through Boys & Girls Club, their families, community leaders and dignitaries were treated to a barbecue sponsored by the Reser Foundation, music by Seahawks Blue Thunder Drumline and field day games and activities.

Sisters Yasmin and Maria Galdamez, a 9-year-old fourth-grader at Margaret Scott and 11-year-old sixth-grader at H.B. Lee, said they were huge fans and delighted to meet two of their favorite Seahawk players.

Wide receivers Phil Bates, 88, and Doug Baldwin, 89, threw the football around with young fans as their mascot, Blitz, and the Sea Gals cheerleaders visited with families.

“I grew up around the Boys & Girls Club — it was my second home in Nebraska,” said Bates, 24, an Omaha native. “It’s great being able to come back and hang out with you guys. You’re the cool kids!”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Bates throws around the pigskin with young fans who belong to the East County Boys & Girls Clubs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland operate six facilities in the area and nine school-based programs in partnership with school districts including Reynolds, said Erin Hubert, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Portland. A new East County facility in the works will mark seven.

Last year, in the wake of the East County Police Activities League (PAL) closure, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland and Friends of the Children announced a partnership with the city of Gresham to expand youth service programs in the Rockwood neighborhood.

A new Rockwood Boys & Girls Club is being constructed on the site of the former Drake’s 7 Dee’s location at 165th Avenue and Stark Street, while Friends of the Children is building a new facility at the former PAL site at 172nd Avenue and Glisan Street.

Both should open in 2015 or early 2016 with major fundraising campaigns.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Bates and Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson joke about trading jobs for the day after Bates complimented Anderson's uniform.

Baldwin, 25, a Gulf Breeze, Fla., native, said he had grown up in programs similar to Boys & Girls Club. “Without them, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. “This is huge for us to visit. It’s a special day.”

Baldwin said he and Bates hoped to stress the importance of education and physical activity to young fans — and laying off the video games, he joked.

Bates, Baldwin, Blitz and the Sea Gals signed autographs and posed for pictures with East County fans. Many participants came dressed in dark blue and lime green fan wear, with one young boy sporting a painted and glittered mohawk.

“This is his favorite team, and he was really excited,” said Kemarey’s mother, Kimberly Fuller.

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Blitz, the Seahawks mascot, shows his Seattle pride before the barbecue and field day.