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Bright Side changing lives, just like Blazer's Edge has been doing for years

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This isn't a new idea - just new to us. Blazers Edge has been sending 1,000 kids a year to Blazers games for the past eight years, and changing lives in the process.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Our fund-raising effort of tickets for kids to see the Phoenix Suns in person for the first time in their lives is a really, really big deal. We are over 200 tickets donated to date, which means we still have a long way to go in the next three weeks before this game is already here.

Please donate now!

We can't do this without you. 200 tickets is a lot, but a 1,000 is a slam dunk! Imagine filling up a whole corner of the upper deck with young Suns fans YOU helped get to a game. Aren't you tired of seeing fans from other teams at the game? Don't you get frustrated when fans don't cheer enough? Make this happen!

We can't do this without you. I know you think "my $16 doesn't mean anything", but it DOES! That's one more kid whose life might change thanks to you.

Our sister site up in Portland has been doing this for almost a decade now, and I asked them to let us know what kind of impact this one event can make on a kid.

If you're anything like me, you'll be blown away by how much impact you can make for just $16.00

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Greetings from the Pacific Northwest, Suns fans. My name is David Deckard, Managing Editor of Blazer's Edge, SBNation's sister site to Bright Side of the Sun.

What's a Trail Blazers guy doing in Suns territory? (Besides admitting that your team will probably kick our butts this year because...roster implosion?) You're engaged in a project to send underprivileged youth and children to a Suns game on November 14, 2015. We've done similar projects at Blazer's Edge for years, sending thousands of kids and chaperons to Blazers games. Since this is your first time, I wanted to share some of the feedback we've gotten from participants so you can understand what it might mean to the people receiving a ticket.

The common refrain surrounding these kids is how small they have to make their world in order to stay safe. For many of them it's straight to school, in class all day, straight home, and keep your head down. This isn't just about affording tickets, it's about stepping beyond your pre-set boundaries, seeing the world differently. Sure these kids can see NBA games on TV, but many watch the same way we watch a fantasy movie. It'd be nice to get there, but it's an imaginary world.

That's your job: making the dream world real.

The excitement surrounding events like this starts well before game night. We've heard multiple stories of classes erupting in disbelief when their teachers say, "Guess what? We're all going to the game next month!" Foster parents have made it a present for their charges. Coaches have been able to take their teams, principals offer rewards to achievers...you name it, we've heard it.

Many folks have reported tangible changes in the kids after they find out they're going. Kids who barely speak in class—who need to have participation pried out of them--are now offering up favorite players and relevant statistics to their teachers. Anticipation provides plenty of "water cooler" talk between peers too. Classes band together over this.

The night of the event is a HUGE deal. The ride to the arena crackles with electricity. Often teachers will treat the kids to a meal. They're talking, laughing, riding together. But nothing prepares them for the first step into the venue itself. Personally I get there early just to watch what happens. Ebullience ebbs for a moment the first time the kids see the actual court, the real logo, the huge scoreboard, and thousands of seats around them in person. Before this moment, it was a dream on TV. Imagine your face the moment you find out Narnia or Middle Earth actually exists. That's their face in that moment.

After that solemn second of revelation, pandemonium ensues. Every dunk, every timeout cheer, every stupid dot race and bat spin game takes on enthusiasm usually reserved for the biggest sporting events. It's LOUD in the upper bowl that night. This is the one chance for those kids and they're not missing it. And if any arena give-away just happens to hit a row where the kids are sitting? Forget about it. Instant bedlam.

Only twice in 8 years have the Blazers ever lost on our event night. I'd like to promise similar good fortune for the Suns if you support this one. Even if you don't buy that, understand that win or lose, those kids walk out of the arena with an unforgettable experience. The best story I ever heard came from a teacher and school counselor who escorted their group a few years ago. They wrote and said, "All we ever see from these kids is hard. They have to be that way to make it. For one night we got to see them be like kids should be, carefree and boisterous and feeling good about life. We never get to see that." The teacher said she got home and the end of the evening, sat down, and cried.

Few of us have money to burn. I don't and my readers don't. But every year we send 1000+ kids because we know it's worth it and somehow we manage. This is your first year. Nobody expects 1000 kids to go. But every ticket makes one more memory and has the potential to change a life. Many of us blow $16 without thinking. That's just an average Wednesday to most of us. To these kids, $16 may provide the best thing to happen to them all year.

Consider sending a kid or two. Get together with friends or your office. Skip the pumpkin lattes for a couple days and see how many kids and chaperones you can send. If you and two friends have $5 each, that's a ticket.

However you do it, send as many kids as you can. Not only will you feel good now, on November 14 you'll have so much more to root for than just the final score. You'll know that night is special and you'll know you made it happen. Whether you're in the arena or watching on TV, every scream from the rafters will make you smile. You'll wonder, "Did I do that?" And you know what? Whether you gave one ticket or a hundred, the answer will be yes.

Help Bright Side of the Sun say, "Yes!" to as many kids as possible.

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Here's how it works to donate

  • You click this link to donate: Suns.com/brightsideofthesun
  • Follow the links, and use the code 'SUNS' when prompted
  • Make sure you select 'Suns Blog Bright Side of the Sun $16 donation' when prompted, then follow the prompts, pick the number of tickets you're buying, and make the payment
    • Select as many tickets as you can afford
    • $16 sends 1 kid to the November 14 Suns game against the Nuggets (chaperones will also get tickets)
    • $32 sends 2 kids to the game, $64 sends 4 of them... you get the picture
  • Provide the payment method, and voila! you're done
  • You will get a confirmation email directly from the Suns

If you bought 10 tickets at once to earn the pair of bonus lower-level tickets for yourself, the Suns will contact you personally about how you want to use the lower-level tickets (you can use them yourself, re-donate them or whatever).

As we approach November 14, the Suns Community Relations team will identify the kids get them the tickets, make sure they all have chaperones, and take care of them on game day.

This is a great cause, folks. These kids will remember this forever.

Donate now!