We have a number of different volunteer opportunities during the year.
Marathon Pace Team
Each year during the Portland Marathon, Team Red Lizard provides pace teams to lead runners to their target finish times. This is a huge effort for the club, as it requires a large number of runners to be able to hold a consistent effort for the 26.2 mile course that will get people in within a minute of their target time.
Each year we help out at the Special Olympics at Mt. Hood Community College. There are four of these Regional SO meets around the state and this one is the largest. It attracts over 300 athletes and is a stepping stone to the Oregon State SO meet, U.S. National SO meet and the SO World Championships. It’s a big deal!
A series of cross country races in parks TRL members volunteer on the third Saturday of every month at the Blanchet House, a local establishment providing daily meals to those in need. Members help with dinner preparation and service.
Portland Marathon Pace Team
Each year during the Portland Marathon, Team Red Lizard provides pace teams to lead runners to their target finish times. This is a huge effort for the club, as it requires a large number of runners to be able to hold a consistent effort for the 26.2 mile course that will get people in within a minute of their target time. The model used to date has been having a group of 2 runners pace each half of the marathon for a large number of finish times.
This is always one of the highlight volunteer activities our club members participate in. If you are interested in helping out this October, please keep an eye on your email and the club’s social media. For more information, contact email@example.com
To provide information to racers about our pace team, TRL hosts a booth at the Portland Marathon Sports and Fitness Expo at the Hilton Hotel (SW 6th Ave and SW Salmon St.) in downtown Portland. Info will be shared prior to the event for pacers to sign up for various shifts, but typically the days/times are 11AM-8PM on Friday and 9AM-7PM on Saturday.
At the booth, pacers explain the “even effort” splits they plan to run, as well as answer pacing and course questions from participants. It’s a great opportunity to talk marathons with tons of very nice people. Some have lots of marathon experience and some have none. So you get all kinds of questions. The one constant is the positive energy from everyone. It’s a blast!
- 3:00 (6:52/mile)
- 3:05 (7:03/mile)
- 3:10 (7:15/mile)
- 3:20 (7:35/mile)
- 3:25 (7:49/mile)
- 3:30 (8:00/mile)
- 3:35 (8:12/mile)
- 3:40 (8:23/mile)
- 4:40 (10:40/mile)
- 5:00 (11:27/mile)
Red Lizards will once again be staging the Oregon Regional Special Olympics Track and Field meet. The 2022 event was held on July 30, but stay tuned for details on 2023.
TRL has been organizing and coordinating all the events for the Regional Special Olympics . There are four of these Regional SO meets around the state and this one is the largest. It attracts over 300 athletes and is a stepping stone to the Oregon State SO meet, U.S. National SO meet and the SO World Championships. It’s a big deal!
As TRL member Mark Mochon says “Let me just say that if you are ‘on the fence’ about helping out with this event….DO IT! It is indescribable how good you feel at the end of the day. The athletes are so grateful and the experience for you will be humbling.” Sounds like a win-win situation for any Lizard! Come on out and help fellow athletes go for the best they can be in athletics.
We need at least 60-70 volunteers to make this thing go. You can volunteer all day (830AM-4PM) or just the morning or afternoon; whatever works for you. Volunteers will receive a SO T-shirt, and complimentary lunch. However, your full heart will be the neatest gift you receive.
You can sign up or ask questions by posting to one of the social media threads or contacting Lou Karl – firstname.lastname@example.org
TRL members volunteer on the third Saturday of every month at the Blanchet House, a local establishment providing daily meals to those in need. Members help with dinner preparation and service.
In December of 2003, TRL member Linda Decker asked if the club would be willing to collect clothing for the homeless and volunteer for an evening during the holiday season at the Blanchet House, a local establishment serving meals to the needy. She brought the idea to the board of directors and put in motion what would become a monthly staple in the activities of Team Red Lizard.
Every month since then club members have volunteered their time to help those less fortunate.
If you would like to volunteer, sign up via the message board. There is a thread on the message board 1 to 2 weeks prior to the Saturday we are scheduled to assist.
A letter from Brian Ferschwiller, the Blanchet House Executive Director:
The Blanchet House concept was originally conceived after World War II by a group that called themselves the Blanchet Club, named after an Oregon missionary archbishop. They would bring food down to skid row, as Burnside was known in those days, and pass it out to the men who were down on their luck (referred to in those days as bums and winos but not politically correct in this day and age).
In 1952 they were able to put rent down on the location we currently reside in, and began serving breakfast at 8 a.m. and dinner at 5 p.m.. Looking through a old edition of the Oregonian, (circa 1953), I came upon an article which featured the Blanchet House and the number of people they were serving per day back then, between 600-800, coincide ironically with the same figures we are dealing with today. It is not only the homeless that seek a hot meal but there are many people on a fixed income and those with low income paying jobs who live within blocks of the House that also come to us for assistance.
Regarding the men who live and work at the House, the Blanchet Farm, and Mr. Riley’s Place, there are currently 60 of them in the program, and in various stages of recovery from drugs and alcohol. When they come to us most of them have a bag or backpack full of their possessions, and we try and help them out with clothing, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, etc. This is a common occurrence at all three locations, so we are always looking for donations that can benefit these men on a short term basis. Many of them work their way on to being staff at one of the locations and they are then welcome to stay up to six months if all goes well. Most of our food donations come from businesses like Trader Joes, Convention Center, Safeway, Starbucks, Caruso Produce, local area restaurants, and private individuals.
We are a private faith based non-profit and we accept no assistance from any federal or state agencies. With the cold weather upon us, we are in great need of any used clothing, shoes, jackets, and other warm clothes items. On an ongoing basis, we could always use toiletry items, backpacks/carry bags, reading glasses, silverware, or paper products. We appreciate any and all donations!”
Blanchet House Executive Director
340 NW Glisan Street