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  • 04/15/2020 5:06 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    The following is statement from the 107IST board.

    During this unprecedented time, many of us have seen our lives — and the lives of those we care about — markedly impacted. Like many other nonprofits, the 107IST organization has felt a substantial impact as well. Nevertheless, our organization continues to think of ways we can support others in our community.

    As you've seen, the 107IST recently launched an effort to manufacture masks for our members and the community. This has been wildly successful, resulting in more than 4,700 masks for donation as of this post.

    But there's more we can do.

    Last night, the 107IST board approved a budget that will allocate $20,000 for grants for our community partners, with the ability to grant additional money should the financial situation improve. This money is a combination of saving on expenses, a reallocation of our current funds, and a redirection of other donations.

    Stay tuned in the next few weeks for more information, as well as how you can help.

    We’re all in this together. Team. Town. Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters.

  • 04/12/2020 8:18 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    As we end the third week of the stay-at-home orders from Oregon’s Governor, many grassroots activities have started up to help our community during these challenging times. Be it an attempt to get additional resources for the Oregon Food Bank or Meals on Wheels, or schools and businesses raiding their own N95 face mask and glove supplies for front-line healthcare workers, Oregonians have come together to help each other prepare and respond to this pandemic as best we can.

    There has also been an increasing need for face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Professional-grade equipment is required for healthcare workers and first responders, such as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. This equipment is professionally made to a certain medical standard. This is the equipment — such as N95 masks, face shields, and other equipment — you see hospital workers using.

    We should also be wearing our own face masks when in public. The CDC has recommended cotton face coverings and social distancing whenever someone is out and about — be it exercising or getting essentials at the market. There are many ways to make your own face mask, and the CDC has compiled a list of ways to make different masks.

    There are also groups that are organizing mask-makers to help meet the growing demand from various organizations for these face masks. One group, Make Masks, was featured in our latest member newsletter. To date, they have coordinated the creation of more 16,000 masks. If you can get involved with them (can sew or can make a donation), please see their website.

    In an effort to help the supply chain for personal cotton masks, and to support the efforts to get more cotton personal face masks to our community, the 107ist board has purchased one thousand, 100 percent cotton face masks, which we plan to donate to local organizations that need these items. One of our scarf producers, Euroscarves, has recently adjusted their operation to make cotton face masks, and we are proud to purchase from them.


    The 107ist is asking our membership to fund this donation through a buy one, give one model. In addition to the one thousand masks for the community, we have also ordered an additional thousand for our members to be able to purchase for personal use. While buying face masks for yourself and household, you will be paying forward the donation to our local organizations.

    We are offering this through a few different options: You can buy 5 facemasks and donate 5, buy 2 and donate 8, or just donate 5. If you have the means to support this effort, please see the event on our website to order. We expect to be able to start shipping the orders from batch #1 in 2 to 3 weeks, and orders from batch #2 in 3 to 4 weeks.

    All of the masks are being sold at cost for both production & shipping, this is not a fundraiser.

    Important notes:

    • 100 percent cotton face masks will not protect you from getting the COVID-19 virus. These masks are intended to help you protect others by covering your nose and mouth at all times while in public. The CDC, as well as Oregon’s Health Authority, continue to advocate for social distancing when in public, in addition to wearing personal face masks.
    • Please do not consider these face masks a solution for social distancing. These are not medical-grade masks.
    • While these are not single-use masks, it is recommended that you wash the mask after each use. Please wash with soap and water and let air dry before you use the mask again.
  • 03/12/2020 11:39 AM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    In alignment with the advice of the Oregon governor and other organizations in our community, we are suspending all in-person 107IST gatherings until further notice. This includes the upcoming bystander intervention workshops, committee or other meetings, office hours, and any other organized activities. We will be rescheduling workshops and other events as more information comes available.

    Please stay safe, and we hope to see you in four weeks!


  • 03/10/2020 4:42 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    Relive those early day of USL, NASL, Timbers Army, and more with the hot new podcast, The 107 Report, brought to you by Obi and friends.

    The first two episodes are out now, ready for your listening pleasure!

    #KnowYourHistory
    #RCTID

    https://www.buzzsprout.com/864310

  • 02/28/2020 5:13 PM | Stephan Lewis (Administrator)

    The 107 Independent Supporters Trust is as strong as we are because of you, our members. More than just forking over dues and buying merch (both great, BTW, don’t stop), our members carry our mission and our ethos with them wherever they may go. You’re the eyes on the street and the boots on the ground. With this, one of our members brought something to our attention that our collective can have a strong impact on.

    Last month there was a fire at Timber-Linn Park in Albany. Several structures at the park were destroyed, including the storage shed for the Mid-Willamette Valley chapter of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). We’ve had the opportunity now to meet with them and figure out how we might be able to help.

    AYSO Region 870 has grown since 1992, now running their programs in Albany, Lebanon, Sweet Home, Tangent, Halsey, Jefferson, Scio, Turner, and Brownsville, and are planning growth into the Silverton area. With the embrace of the principles that everyone has a chance to play, positive coaching, good sportsmanship, player development, open registration, and balanced teams, Region 870 is completely volunteer-run and already has a system similar to GCSF in place funded through their community.

    While they’ve received in-kind donations of much of the replacement equipment they need, they could use our help closing the gap in their fundraising. So far, we’ve been able to hook them up with pinnies, boots, and shin guards from our cache of equipment that flows through the 107ist for these types of occasions. They’re now good on size 5s, but will need the smaller sizes sooner than later. Once we get our overall budgets in order, we’re hoping to close the gap for them through some additional fundraising as their end goal is close to $10,000 to replace what was lost. On a side note, they’ll be coordinating with OPI to see how they can grow similar efforts in their region.

    The soccer universe works in strange ways at times. Not only has this led to us building stronger relationships in the Mid-Valley, as you know, we are all greatly saddened by the recent passing of Jimmy Conway. Jimmy's work growing the game in Oregon was integrally linked to by the reps we met as they could draw a direct line form his efforts to their's and is a reminder of how many lives he's touched.

    Aiding in the services celebrating his love of the beautiful game, we combed our archives for materials that represented his work in our community to be a part of the service. One of the things we came across was a box with a full set of Jimmy Conway shirts in all sizes from our 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s team. We’ll be selling them at the No Pity Van on Sunday, with proceeds going to the above effort. The supply is limited with just 69 in total (nice, right?), so check ‘em out when you hit up the Van.

    What better way to Spread the Love and celebrate Jimmy’s life and contributions than to once again support youth soccer in Oregon?

    And if you’re able, check out AYSO Region 870's fundraising page and throw some duckets their way.

    A Legend is dead. Long live the Legend. Pints Up!

  • 02/26/2020 5:16 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    The following is a post by Joel Vos.

    Traveling support is something the Timbers Army takes pride in — and, many times, there are 107IST members across the country who help make the experience go smoothly and be a hell of a lot of fun. In some rare cases, it’s the Portland supporters at home who made a connection with another team’s supporters. The North Star Casuals, the Minneapolis/St. Paul-based regional supporters of the 107IST, have been fortunate to find the same type of friendly reception from their counterparts at the Wonderwall from Minnesota United.

    To keep the pseudo-rivalry going beyond our teams on the pitch each season, the Wonderwall and the North Star Casuals have collaborated again for the second annual Flannel Cup supporters match. As a casual, fun, and light-hearted way to share our love of the sport and find creative ways to socialize and welcome opposing supporters, this year’s Cup is going to be a two-leg, hardware-at-stake set of matches. How on earth did it come to this?

    The rivalry between Portland and the Twin Cities can take many forms for supporters. Despite on and off battles for “best bike-friendly city,” and fights over the most delicious and creative microbreweries, the two cities share a love of the outdoors, flannel-clad people felling trees — and a passion for soccer. With match-day animosity put aside for a few hours, the supporters for each team enjoy quite a friendly history, including joint prematch meet-ups and a few kindly, “I guess I’ll cheer for you when we don’t play each other” pleasantries.

    Back in 2017, the MLS-fresh Minnesota United happened to end up with a trip to our very own Providence Park for that season’s home opener. Dating back to the 1970s, Minnesota and Portland soccer teams have had a long history of battling it out, and we'll have another round of cracking a season open in a few short days.

    The Flannel Cup, designed and made by Ali Vos in 2019; courtesy of Joel Vos

    The Flannel Cup, however, is a rather new tradition between us. Looking back to 2017, when a new team in the league came to Portland for a 5-1 shellacking, we saw a few great collaborations between the supporters ahead of the league debut of the Loons: a split scarf and a session of open play at Rose City Futsal.


    2017 Timbers Army/Dark Clouds split scarf, via Scarfage.com


    Inter-supporter match at Rose City Futsal in 2017; courtesy of Timbers Army FC Twitter

    With the Timbers Army playing host to a handful of traveling Minnesota supporters in 2017, a few were lucky enough to meet Diego Valeri, who dropped by to visit with IRCO players during their practice. The casual, fun atmosphere of the game helped cement an ongoing friendly relationship with the Timbers Army and what is now the Wonderwall from Minnesota.

    Fast-forward to the following 2018 season: Timbers supporter Nate Zell worked to gather supporters together for another match in Minnesota. A small group played an early friendly at La Doña Cervecería’s outdoor court in Minneapolis ahead of the Thorns’ NWSL Championship appearance, and the later MLS match. That 3v3 match planted a seed for a great idea.

    In 2019 the North Star Casuals found its ranks growing, and worked hard to set up another away weekend experience. In coordination with Minnesota’s True North Elite, supporters joined in on a hot and sunny August afternoon for another 3v3 match at La Doña Cervecería. A solid mix of athletic wear, turf shoes, jeans, and even a pair of work boots made the rotation onto the field in front of a loving barrage of heckling from the gathered Minnesota supporters.

    The first half was a sweat-drenched slugfest, but, in the end, a second half surge from the Timbers Army put the game away for a final score of 24 to the Wonderwall’s 16. The first annual Flannel Cup was ours! Moments after the match, plans were already rolling to make it all happen again in 2020.


    Timbers Army and Wonderwall pose after the first annual Flannel Cup, courtesy of Ali Vos

    Supporting our team can take many forms, and the 107IST gives us all an opportunity to join together and do amazing things in our communities and with each other. The North Star Casuals take pride in our efforts to support the Timbers when they come to town and be an excellent host for our Timbers Army family for away days. Joining in the new tradition of the Flannel Cup gives us the opportunity to spread some love to the visitors from the land of the flannel-clad lumberjack Paul Bunyan and share the welcome the True North Elite and Wonderwall provide when the Timbers Army are comin’ down the road.

    This year, we're taking the Flannel Cup to a two-leg affair, with the first leg hosted at Rose City Futsal on Saturday, February 29, at 8:00 p.m. (PT). Anyone is welcome to attend the match and if you’d like to play, you can!

    Leg two will be hosted on Memorial Day weekend. If you’re coming to Minnesota and want to play, contact the North Star Casuals via:
    Email
    Twitter 
    Facebook

    Written by Joel Vos. A native of Minnesota who transplanted to Portland in the mid-2000s, he is one of a small handful of founding members of the North Star Casuals, the Minneapolis/St. Paul regional supporters group under the 107IST.

  • 02/14/2020 1:08 PM | Sherrilynn Rawson (Administrator)

    by Mick Hoban, long time friend and teammate of Jimmy Conway

    Jimmy Conway, a legendary former captain and assistant coach for the Timbers in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s, passed away on Friday, February 14 in Portland.  He was 73 and for a decade had suffered from trauma-induced dementia.

    Born in Dublin, Ireland, on August 10, 1946, Jimmy came up through the famed Stella Maris FC, an academy-like training club for players of ages 5-18, which has produced 24 full international team members.  At 18, Jimmy signed his first senior contract with Bohemian FC, Ireland's oldest existing football club and member of the League of Ireland's first division.  In his first season with the Gypsies, he helped guide the team to a strong second place finish.  After another year with the all-amateur Bohemian FC, he was signed by Fulham FC and he spent the next 10 years as one of the premier midfielder/wingers in English football.  While with the Cottagers, Jimmy earned the first call-up as an international for the Republic of Ireland; he would put on the green jersey a total of 20 times for friendlies and Cup qualifiers scoring three goals.

    After two seasons with Manchester City, Jimmy joined the Timbers for the 1978 NASL season under new manager Don Megson.  After advancing to the Soccer Bowl in the inaugural 1975 season, Portland struggled on the field, missing the playoffs in both 1976 and 1977.  Megson called on Jimmy to provide stability in the midfield and relied on Conway to improve the build-up on attack through his accurate passing.  Jimmy's composure on the field and the respect he got from teammates made him the perfect choice as captain, too, and he became an immediate fan favorite.  Jimmy's addition to the starting 11 paid off with a the team achieving a 20-10 record in 1978, advancing to the third round of playoff games before falling to the mighty New York Cosmos.

    Jimmy played two more seasons for Portland before retiring as an active player, playing 433 career games in his career without a single caution or ejection.  He would serve as an on-field assistant coach for Portland in 1980, and would finish his playing career with the Timbers for their 1980 indoor season. He returned to the club as an Assistant Coach with the USL Timbers from 2001-2005.

    After his playing career Jimmy joined the Oregon Youth Soccer Association in 1981 where he became Director of Coaching.  He held that job for 28 years. His coaching programs reached more than 24,000 youth players and guided some 1,100 adults to USSF coaching certification.  Along the way, he also collected his “A” coaching badge from USSF and was added to the national coaching staff.

    Jimmy's high energy level and love for the game saw him also become head men's coach at both Pacific University (1983-87) and Oregon State (1988-1998), where he holds numerous program records at both schools two decades after retiring from day-to-day coaching.  Eventually, he made his was back to the Timbers as an assistant during the club's A-League/USL period.

    Conway was diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia in 2009.  When his medical diagnosis was determined, former Timbers teammate Mick Hoban, his wife Linda, the Conway family and a group of volunteers, spearheaded a series of events in 2010 including a testimonial dinner at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton that reunited Jimmy with hundreds of former youth players and coaches, teammates from Irish, English and U.S. playing days, college athletics administrators, and U.S. Youth Soccer and Oregon Adult and Youth Soccer representatives.  He also was honored by the Timbers with a testimonial game at the stadium in August 2010 and an induction into the club's Ring of Honor the following season.  Since then, the TA has fervently honored his service with banners, chants and periods of applause during MLS games even though most Army members are too young to know him as a player. 

    Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Noeleen, sons Paul and Mark, daughter Laura, eight grandchildren and 10 siblings.

    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions toward research on Chrontic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease associated with contact sports and his family hopes soccer's leadership will consider amending the game's rules to reduce chances of developing this deadly concussion-related disease.  Contributions in Jimmy's name can be made by mail to:

    Boston University Research - CTE Center

    Attn. Elizabeth Fay

    72 E. Concord St., Robison-B7800

    Boston, MA 02118

    Alternately, online contributions can be made to: BU CTE Center

    Please make note in the online form that the donation is in memory of Jimmy Conway.


  • 02/14/2020 10:17 AM | Sherrilynn Rawson (Administrator)

    We are sad to report that Jimmy Conway, former Republic of Ireland national and legendary midfielder for the NASL Portland Timbers, passed away on February 14th, 2020, at the age of 73.

    What made Jimmy Conway a Timbers Legend?

    You’ve seen the name hanging in the rafters. You know he played for the NASL Timbers. You probably know that he was one of the Timbers from that era that stuck around and made our neck of the woods his home. However, many of you may not truly understand who Jimmy Conway is and the impact he has had on growing the beautiful game here in Oregon.

    Jimmy was raised in the Stella Maris FC development program in Dublin which has long been a hotbed for producing future national team players and international managers. Jimmy himself had 20 caps with Ireland throughout his career. After a stint with local club Bohemian FC, he was recruited to play for Fulham FC during the club’s most prolific era and is still fondly remembered by Cottagers to this day. Ten years and 360 matches later, he did a stint with Manchester City before coming across to play with the Timbers in 1978 at the age of 31. He wore the armband for the team the next year, was a player/assistant coach the year after that, and it has been argued that he was the most talented player to ever wear our crest over his heart. More than an exceptionally skilled player, he was always a man of integrity, and this was reflected in his style of play. Through 15 years of playing (443 games), he never once received a caution or ejection. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to a persistent injury and developed long-term health issues, caused by putting his head where it belonged as a part of the game.

    As was the hope of the Timbers front office when recruiting players back in the day, Jimmy got stuck in and cultivated the love of the beautiful game through his continued support of the NASL Timbers. In the years following his retirement from competitive play (other than the Timbers indoor team), Jimmy continued on as an assistant coach. In 1981, he and Clive Charles were hired by Oregon Youth Soccer Association (OYSA) as head coaches in the organization’s 7th year. It was through his role as the director of coaching with OYSA that his status as a soccer legend in Oregon was solidified. Jimmy’s experience growing up in a top flight youth system helped him to know just what was needed to facilitate the growth of the local youth development system, and he knew it would take an army of well-trained people to pull it off.

    One of Jimmy’s many positive qualities, and one that made him a great player, captain, coach, and person was his ability to spot strengths in others and foster the development of those individuals’ unique abilities. In his early years with OYSA, Jimmy scoured the countryside giving intensive coaching clinics to soccer moms and dads, many of whom were entirely new to the game. Through his work, he was able to identify individuals for higher level training and ultimately was responsible for licensing well over 1,000 soccer coaches, truly creating an army of soccer instructors in and around Oregon. Forget teaching someone to fish: if you teach them to teach, you can benefit an entire community. This was perhaps Jimmy’s greatest gift to all of us. If you grew up playing the game in the Portland area, odds are good that you were coached by someone trained by Jimmy, if not by Jimmy himself.

    Unfortunately, due to his declining health, Jimmy retired from OYSA in 2009. The Oregon Youth Soccer Foundation (the non-profit arm of OYSA) created the Jimmy Conway Coach Education Scholarships to honor his impact. These scholarships provide those of lesser means the opportunity to attend the US Soccer Federation National “D” license course, run by OYSA.

    Outside of his work with OYSA, Jimmy coached soccer at Pacific University from 1983 to 1987 with a record of 51-37-9 and at OSU from 1988 to 1999 with a record of 97-88-14. At the start of the USL era in Portland in 2001, Jimmy returned to the Timbers and renewed his role as an assistant coach until 2005. He was also on the U. S. Soccer Federation's national staff, following his work heading OYSA’s connection to the U.S. Youth Soccer's Olympic Development Program, lending his skills and experience to the national effort while also keeping us all up to speed locally. Jimmy Conway always valued taking care of the next generation of players, and his steadfast dedication to their development made him a true PTFC legend.

    Trauma-Induced Dementia

    Little was known about the effects of persistent head trauma at the time of Jimmy’s retirement, and there is much we still don’t understand. He was diagnosed with trauma-induced dementia, one of many forms that doctors are now able to identify. The most common form of dementia in athletes is dementia pugilistica. Commonly known as boxer’s syndrome or scientifically as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, it is the result of repeated head trauma. Common symptoms are dementia and parkinsonism, which can take years or even decades to manifest. Some also experience slurred speech and poor coordination. At times, a single traumatic incident can cause similar symptoms, as well as long-term memory loss, depending on the affected part of the brain.

    As a result of the growing body of knowledge of the long-term effects of head trauma, we have seen many leagues in many sports taking head injuries very seriously. We don’t need to look further than the retirement of our own ‘There’s Only One’ Eddie Johnson, whose MLS career was cut short in what we were all hoping to be his prime. Given the overlapping nature of all forms of dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association leads the way in all forms of dementia research. For several years, 107IST members followed the lead of Jimmy’s long-time teammate and champion, Mick Hoban, and joined the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in support of their efforts.

    The 107IST and Timbers Army extend our condolences to the Conway family.



  • 02/03/2020 12:25 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    The following is a post by Sunday White.

    So, I was standing there, in the cold and wet, waiting in line to have my Axe photos taken the other day, and an odd thing occurred.

    A number of people that I have not met before, and who I do not usually see on match day, said to me some variation of “Capos have to wait in line, too?” or “Why are you waiting in line?”. I bet they would say the same thing to the Game Day Ops folks, any of the past or present board members, or the flag/rigging/tifo crews IF they knew them by face. In fact, I’ve since confirmed that this phenomenon has happened to my buddies in the DnT (Drums & Trumpets) who are, of course, visible, and usually pop up on video of a match when the mainstream media is showing “stadium atmosphere.”

    It was odd. And really, I guess it was odd when it happened before, at random moments, across years of being involved with the 107IST as a capo with the TA and RCR, both at the stadium on match day and when I’m around town at work or running errands. This time it made me realize that what we do and how we do it is probably not understood by the newer fans or those that usually watch the match from outside of the GA section.

    This may be due to some 107IST members’ modesty or a close-working network. On a larger, more common scale, though, I think it may be the non-supporter-group observers’ assumptions.

    I really want to bash those assumptions out of the proverbial park.

    All the people you see doing things on match day that are not wearing a stadium uniform, or official team or park company attire of some sort, are volunteers.

    We are fans.

    We buy our own tickets.

    We buy our own 107IST memberships.

    We are not staff.

    We are not given perks.

    We are not given payment.

    We are not provided with benefits by the Front Office.

    We (the capos, in particular) turn our backs on the pitch out of love for our clubs.

    This is the same with the DnT. The tifo crew. The merchandise design team and the sales crew. The people passing out chant sheets at the concourse table. The people that arrive early to run all the stairs to put out flags and wall banners — and after jumping and singing for victory for 90+ minutes, they do it again after the match to clean up those flags. The folks that never get in early because they are collecting and reselling tickets at the Fanladen. The rigging crew that is there nights before, running roping so the tifo crew (there just after rigging does their magic so they can test the pulls) can get that amazing (and, again, volunteer-created) display up in the air. Then those same rigging badasses lose sight of the first 20 min (or more) of the match taking all those ropes back down. The 107IST board who all lose large portions of time and sleep trying to work together to make this amazing thing even better for the supporters. There are people dedicated to providing accurate website data, managing all our histories, managing social media accounts, being photographers and videographers, planning away day travel, communicating what the supporters groups are doing, providing ways to improve our communities, representing us at the ISC (Independent Supporters Council) annually, planning our charitable efforts, tree-planting, Oregon Food Bank, CPR classes, book clubs, and so much more.

    ALL these things are done by volunteers. They do it by sacrificing free time, energy, sleep, money, bodies, and the ability to get pissed with friends while watching the match.

    We do not do it for fame or fortune. We do not do it for TV ratings. We do not do this to make the FO happy.

    We do this out of love for our clubs.

    Take the time to see all the facets of this amazing organization that is being driven by the love of soccer and the love of our communities. Acknowledge all that these dedicated supporters do to make our united experience and our united show of love to the players on match day — for both of our Portland clubs — possible.

    Thanks

    Sunday

    (I’m the crazy capo with the ’hawk)

    PS: Now that you know a little bit more about us, you can see how varied our organization is and how much work we have to do. Give a thought about what you may be able to do to help. We are always looking for more volunteers. Just sign up!

  • 01/15/2020 3:40 PM | Jennifer Ingraham (Administrator)

    The following is a post from our regional supporters group, the Montana Volunteers.

    Thank you to all Montana Volunteers for your work in building support for the Portland Thorns and Portland Timbers in Montana. Whether you live in Montana, Oregon, or another part of the world, you made our fifth season as a Regional Supporters Group of the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters a very productive one. As we enter a new year, it is a good time to pause and reflect on the work you did in 2019.

    Supporting Our Communities

    2019 marked the second year that Regional Supporters Groups were invited to participate in Stand Together week. Stand Together Week is an initiative of the Thorns and Timbers to support community service efforts. Jayme Fraser and Darrell Brown led year’s Montana Volunteers project: the Empowering Girls Through Sports Carnival. On July 27, Jayme. Brandon, Darrell, Dan, Brandon, and Kris gathered at Imagine Nation Brewing in Missoula to work at the carnival. With Jayme and Darrell’s leadership the carnival had booths from 10 community groups, athletic teams, and service providers to demonstrate sports and provide information to girls and their families about the benefits of participating in sports. Over 100 young people and their families visited the carnival, earned prizes and had a fun afternoon. The Montana Volunteers are grateful for the opportunity to participate in Stand Together Week and look forward to joining again in 2020.

    2019 was the Montana Volunteers’ fifth season as a Regional Supporters Group for the Thorns and Timbers. To commemorate this anniversary, we launched a series of fifth season merchandise with all proceeds donated to causes assisting our neighbors around Montana.

    In January we sold out of another run of our Montana Volunteers caps raising $504 for the Montana Talking Books Library. The Talking Books Library is a division of the Montana State Library providing audio books and magazines readers in need. The caps display the “M Lazy T Bar” cattle brand our group uses as a primary badge. Supporters in Montana donated the costs of creating the caps.

    In March we sold our “EST. 2015” Montana Volunteers patch raising $664 for the McKenzie County, North Dakota Flood Relief Fund. The fund was established to assist homeowners and agricultural producers affected by springtime flooding of the lower Yellowstone River in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. The patch was inspired by the Montana Centennial Seal adopted in in 1989. It completed a set of Centennial patches launched in 2017. Supporters in Montana donated the costs of creating the patches.

    In April we launched our first Montana Volunteers shirt raising $680 for the Montana Special Olympics. The shirts were made to order in Helena with all proceeds above cost being donated to support the Special Olympics athletes in Montana. The black shirt showed the “M Lazy T Bar” brand on the front with the word “Volunteer” on the back so that supporters of both Clubs could wear the shirt to any match or service event. The shirts were delivered in time for the Clubs’ home openers on June 1 and 2.

    The final merch items marking the fifth season of the Montana Volunteers weren’t sold but were given to the supporters who have helped build and strengthen our RSG. Our fifth season “Merritt Badge” and pin set were first distributed at the third annual Montana Volunteers Rendezvous in Philipsburg on August 3 and 4. The sets were then mailed to supporters around the country the following week without notice. The patch shows the Charles M. Russell-inspired bison skull and the number 5. The pin is a Montana State Highway 5 sign. Highway 5 runs from Scobey to the North Dakota line in northeastern Montana. 107 patches and pins were produced and distributed. Supporters in Montana covered the cost of the patch and pin.

    During the annual Rendezvous at Phillipsburg Brewing, supporters also participated in a Timbers and Thorns memorabilia raffle raising $520 for the Granite County Museum. Fellow RSG the Upper Valley Skirmishers contributed scarves and stickers. Katherine Leppek, Kip Branch, Dan Brunell, and Julie Dafn Wicher donated Thorns and Timbers patches. Jason Cohen donated two tickets to the Minnesota at Timbers match. Brandon Hatfield donated a collection of Timbers and Thorns patches and scarves. Thanks to all who donated and participated in the raffle.

    Supporting the Timbers and Thorns

    The Montana Volunteers will never feel the excitement of hosting a Timbers or Thorns away day. To address this geographic reality, the group launched its annual Rendezvous in 2017. The Rendezvous is a chance for Timbers and Thorns supporters from around Montana to gather, watch matches, collect and swap memorabilia, raise money for good causes and have fun with fellow supporters. Each year the Rendezvous has been held in Philipsburg with the help of Philipsburg Brewing Company.

    This year, the third annual Rendezvous brought our first visitors from outside Montana and a highlight of the entire season. Susan and Todd Diskin and their daughters drove from Portland to join the Montana supporters for the weekend. They contributed books to our raffle, brought custom Rendezvous buttons for everyone, traded patches, and helped all of us in attendance feel connected to the supporter culture in Portland. Their willingness to drive to Philipsburg, explore Montana, and help us celebrate will not be soon forgotten. Thank you, Diskin Family!

    Each supporter who attended the Rendezvous to watch the Thorns vs. Sky Blue and Timbers vs. Minnesota received a new Montana Volunteers sticker, fifth season “Merritt Badge” and pin, and Diskin-made button. Supporters also participated in the raffle in support of the Granite County Museum. Between the Timbers and Thorns matches, supporters had a meal of beef or vegetable pasties and gravy in the authentic Butte style made by Dan Brunell. Thanks to Philipsburg Brewing Company head brewer and Portland supporter Mike Elliott for arranging to host us at the brewery tap room. We are looking forward to next year’s Rendezvous.

    Montana Volunteers held regular watch parties for the Timbers in Missoula, Bozeman and Helena. Montana Volunteers held watch parties Helena for the Thorns. Thanks to Matt in Bozeman for organizing the gatherings in Bozeman at Spectator’s. Thanks to Brandon Hatfield in Missoula for organizing gatherings at Meagher Bar. Thanks to all who have attended a watch party in Montana this season.

    Bert & Ernie’s has been the place where Timbers & Thorns supporters in Helena have gathered for matches the last three seasons. First, they put on Timbers matches. Then they put Thorns matches on for supporters. Next, they let supporters stream matches and take any other steps needed to ensure supporters could watch and hear any Thorns or Timbers match. They even hung Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army scarves.

    ‪This season Bert & Ernie's in Helena became an official 107 Independent Supporters Trust Partner. The 107ist is the organization behind the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters. 107ist Members will now receive 10% off their purchase at Bert & Ernie’s with their membership card. When in Helena visit the first 107ist Partner outside of Oregon or Washington. The Montana Volunteers in Helena are grateful to have such an excellent place for soccer fans to call home.

    The Montana Volunteers promoted membership in the 107 Independent Supporters Trust throughout the season by explaining that membership in the 107ist enhances the sense of belonging in the Timbers Army and Rose City Riveters. Supporters from Montana can feel connected to the work in the stadium and community by joining the 107ist. In May, the Montana Volunteers gave away six memberships in 107ist to any supporters who were interested. Thanks to Lee, Nicole, Jerry, Korene, Isaac, Zach, and Spencer for joining through this membership effort. Supporters in Montana donated the costs of the gift memberships.

    The Montana Volunteers were proud to contribute an article to the first issue of North End Noise. To be the first installment of “Dispatches from the Diaspora” was a great honor. It was fun reflect our mission and describe how it drives our support for the Clubs in Montana. Thank you to the Booked! Committee for asking to join that fun and important project.

    Brandon, Lee, Darrell, Kris, Chris and their children put together a Montana Volunteers float for the Missoula Parade of Lights in December to help raise awareness about the Timbers and Thorns Montana Regional Supporters Group. Many supporters along the parade route were excited to see the float. The Montana Volunteers will look for additional events around Montana to help welcome new supporters in our effort to paint Montana solidly RED and GREEN.

    All supporters gathered at a Timbers or Thorns watch party in Montana were always happy to see a Montana Volunteers banner displayed in the north end of Providence Park. Every supporter in Montana owes a debt of gratitude to Tina Ettlin for creating and hanging a Montana Volunteers banner during Thorns matches and to Garrett Browne and Jake Simonich for hanging a Montana Volunteers banner during Timbers matches. Those banners make all the supporters in Montana feel connected to the action on the pitch and atmosphere in the terraces. Thank you isn't enough.

    The Montana Volunteers distributed Timbers and Thorns “Merritt Badges” to supporters who visited Montana or attended a Timbers or Thorns watch party in Montana. Supporters in Montana donated the costs of creating and shipping the patches. Many vacationing supporters or those just passing through earned their badges this season. Thanks for visiting. We hope to see you again soon.

    Montana Volunteers gathered at Providence Park and other stadiums around the league throughout the season to meet their fellow Montana supporters. Thanks to all those who organized and sent pictures of Montanans supporting the Timbers and Thorns in the terraces.

    Thank you

    Thanks to all Montana Volunteers who spent their time and resources in support of the Montana RSG. Additional thanks to the 107ist Board Members, Rose City Riveters Committee, No Pity Van, and the many Timbers and Thorns supporters in Oregon who have supported and encouraged our work.

    We look forward to a fun and helpful sixth season as a Regional Supporters Group.


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