Aging Playground Equipment

This playground equipment at St. Helens McCormick Park is more than 20 years old and could be replaced through the Blazers/Moda Assist Program.

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The Portland Trailblazers and Moda Health have selected St. Helens to receive funding for an all-abilities playground at McCormick Park.

The selection follows public voting and competition between St. Helens, Astoria and Sandy for the partnership park project.

“We are very honored to win this competition and would like to thank Moda Health and the Trail Blazers for this opportunity to provide such a wonderful resource to the children in our community,” St. Helens Mayor Rick Scholl said. “We would also like to thank our amazing community members who took time each day to vote."

Scholl said the City recognizes the importance of parks in the community and the City has worked hard over the last several years to prioritize park and trail improvement projects in St. Helens.

"With this funding, we are excited to replace the old playground equipment at our highest utilized park with a much-needed upgrade that will benefit children of all-abilities. Once again, thank you to Moda Health and the Trail Blazers, and let’s go Rip City!”

The following is a release from the Portland Trailblazers announcing St. Helens as the winner of the competition.

In one very bright spot in these difficult days, the Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health teamed up to promote active, healthy lifestyles for Oregon children through their Moda Assist Program, now in its seventh year.

At a time when we all are being reminded of the key role that parks and open spaces play in building healthy communities, three Oregon cities competed to win an all-abilities playground by engaging their citizens to vote for their city. St. Helens won with a final tally of 48,094 votes.

“We are thankful for our partnership with Moda Health for supporting healthy, active living through the Moda Assist Program,” Trail Blazers President and CEO Chris McGowan said. “We look forward to continuing the Moda Assist Program going forward and building more all-abilities playgrounds in the greater Oregon community.”

“In these trying times, we’re all being reminded just how important it is for youngsters – for all youngsters – to embrace an active life,” Moda Health President Dr. William Johnson said. “We all know playgrounds can be key contributors to children’s physical and emotional health. That’s why we are so delighted to continue to partner with Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers on this program. It touches lives throughout our state.”

As passionate about helping kids play as he is about helping teammates score, Damian Lillard continues as the ambassador for the Moda Assist program, which donates $20 to the Trail Blazers Foundation for every assist made by the team during the season. Those funds go to help build all-abilities playgrounds in communities all across Oregon.

Each year, three cities are selected and then fans can go online and vote. Voting this year began March 5 and ended April 2 for Astoria, St. Helens and Sandy. All three cities found creative ways to engage their communities and encourage voting.

The Moda Assist program has provided funding for all-abilities playgrounds in Baker City, Redmond, La Grande, Portland, Medford and Hermiston. Last year's winner, Baker City, is still in the planning stages for their new park. For more information, photos and video, visit modahealth.com/assist or contact Karis Stoudamire-Phillips at 503-265-5637, karis.stoudamirephillips@modahealth.com.

Despite the postponement of the 2019-20 NBA season, the financial contribution to winning community St. Helens will not be impacted and will remain consistent with previous seasons.

The specifics about the new all-abilities playground at McCormick Park have yet to be announced by St. Helens city officials.

The Chronicle will continue to follow this story with updates here online and in the Wednesday print editions of The Chronicle.

About the Portland Trailblazers

Members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Portland Trail Blazers were founded in 1970 and purchased by the late Paul G. Allen in 1988. The team's rich heritage includes 35 playoff appearances, three trips to the NBA Finals, an NBA championship in 1977 and a commitment to community service and sustainability.

The Trail Blazers are dedicated to positively impacting underserved kids and their families throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington where they live, learn and play. Portland is the first and only professional sports franchise to receive the prestigious National Points of Light Award for excellence in corporate and community service.

The Trail Blazers home arena, Moda Center, is the first existing arena to earn LEED Platinum Certification in 2019 after receiving LEED Gold Recertification in 2015 and becoming the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold status in 2010. The team is also one of the founding members of the Green Sports Alliance. For more information, visit www.trailblazers.com.

About Moda

Founded in 1955, Oregon-based Moda is a company committed to building healthier communities. Moda has 330,000 members in its medical plans and more than 1 million members in its pharmacy business.

The Moda family of enterprises includes Moda Health, ODS Community Dental, Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, Ardon Health, BenefitHelp Solutions, Astra Practice Partners, Dental Commerce Corporation, Healthy Grid and Arrow Dental. Affiliated companies include Delta Dental of Oregon/Alaska, with more than 1 million dental members.

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