This is the third time around for our little blog to give back to the next generation of Phoenix Suns fans, focusing our efforts on young underprivileged kids who have never had an experience like this.
We at Bright Side only have to part with a relatively small amount of money - $19 per ticket - to give a deserving kid a memory to cherish for the rest of their lives.
You remember your first chance to watch a major sporting event, right?
The sights, the sounds, the tastes, the feels are special and unique; something never felt before, a night never to be forgotten.
My first game was at the Madhouse on McDowell, Veterans Memorial Coliseum. I remember driving down to the arena with my dad, decked out in whatever purple and orange colors I could find in my closet. Just parking in the incredibly huge outdoor parking lot with thousands of other cars was exciting. To me, anyway. My dad was cussing up a storm, tossing out driving and parking instructions like an auctioneer from behind the windshield of our car. I’ve inherited that trait from him, and I’m proud of it.
Walking around the concession areas was a barrage of sights and smells. People of all ages, shapes and colors proudly wore their Suns gear as they wandered around before tipoff. We grabbed a couple of hotdogs and a tub of popcorn with some sodas. Even jostling for position at the condiment stand to put ketchup and mustard on the dog was a thrill.
Then he led us down one of the tunnels... and when we emerged on the other side I lost my breath for a moment. Suddenly, there was the court. And the baskets. And the players in layup lines on each end of the court, just like my school team did. All surrounded by thousands of full of fans milling about.
Our seats were in the 13th row, up the corner angle from the visitors bench. So close to the action I felt like I could walk right down and shake the hands of the players! No, my dad said, that’s not how its done. They need to focus on the game, not us fans. Just take your seat and prepare to support the team with cheers and screams all game long.
I don’t remember who the Suns played that day. Or who won. I just remember my dad and I cheering them on the whole time. I remember the chills when a big shot went down. I remember the anticipation as a jump shot flew through the air, willing it with my entire being to fall through the hoop. I remember booing the other team - not saying mean things because that’s disrespectful and good fans don’t do that, my dad said, but just booing when they got to the line for free throws is good.
I remember the taste of the hot dog, popcorn and soda. That was the best soda I’d had in my whole life.
That’s what Bright Side Night means to me. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses. It matters that these kids get the experience of a pro basketball game. And experience they have never had before, and may never have again.
Help us make some life-long memories for these young folks.
We sent 1,200 last year. 800 the year before. Let’s send the most kids ever! Every donation counts!
Donate now. It’s quick, easy and you won’t miss the money.
- You click this link to donate: Suns.com/Brightside
- Fill out the one-page form to select the number of tickets you want to donate, and how you’re going to pay
- You will get a confirmation email directly from the Suns about the ticket donation
Some notes on donations:
- Each $19 ticket you buy sends one more kid to the November 19 Suns game against the Bulls
- If you donate $190 at one time (10 tickets), you will get your very own pair of tickets to that game (confirmation of those tickets will come later from Stepheny Frederiksen, who works for the Suns)
- 10 tickets for kids = a pair of 200-level tickets for yourself
- 25 tickets for kids = a pair of lower-level tickets for yourself
- If you’re among the first 25 to donate $190+ at once, you get an exclusive invitation for an private Bright Side interview session with Ryan McDonough or another high ranking Suns official*
- As we approach November 19, 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 with goodie bags and a whole host of recognition from the PA announcer to the Gorilla.
*In both prior years, GM Ryan McDonough gave us 30+ minutes of his own time right before tip-off of the game. Still awaiting confirmation of his availability for this year.
You won’t regret it. In fact, you’ll always and forever be proud of what you’ve done to give someone a lifelong memory of your favorite basketball team.