In the three years that we have been running the Pinball Outreach Headquarters, we have been able to do some amazing things. These include
Running three week-long low-cost pinball summer camps.
Hosting over a dozen educational visits from local schools.
Holding several kids tournaments and other family-friendly events.
Hosting events for the Children’s Cancer Association’s Chemo Pals and multiple autism organizations.
Getting featured in O Magazine as well as every major local news outlet.
Providing tens of thousands free games of pinball to children.
The space has vastly expanded our opportunities for outreach, and it has been great to watch these events unfold.
Unfortunately, from the organizational side, things have been less successful, and despite our best efforts across two locations it has been a struggle. Financially, the space was never much more than a break-even proposition (sometimes not even that) and it has taken an enormous amount of our personal time and effort to keep running. We have tried several things to make it work better but at the end of the day it appears that we just underestimated the amount of support and/or demand that was out there for a space like ours.
Therefore, we regret to announce that we will be closing the Pinball Outreach Project Headquarters in Portland. Our last day open to the public will be Sunday, December 17th.
While POP HQ will be closing, we would like to make it clear that Pinball Outreach Project will continue as an organization (just as it did before we opened the space since 2012), providing pinball machines to families and organizations that fit our mission. We are already in talks for another machine location in 2018, and we are sure there will be more to come after that. Our passion for the mission has not wavered, and donations will continue to enable us to put as much pinball in the hands of children as possible.
We would like to thank anyone who has provided us any support over the past three years. If you attended a fundraising tournament, loaned us a game, held a party, turned in a Superleague card, or even just came in to play a few games, you were a huge part of the reason we were able to keep going. In particular, we would like to thank our volunteers, who made the entire concept of the space possible. We wouldn’t have made it a month without them.
If you are a POP HQ regular, please stop by to say hello one more time before we close. If there is one thing we will truly miss, it is that spark in a kid’s eyes when they plunge that first ball on their favorite game, or raising their arms in triumph after scoring a goal on World Cup Soccer. Also, please keep an eye on our social media for upcoming events and programs. We are already strategizing ways to make pinball more available without maintaining the overhead that the space needed.
Nicole Anne Reik-Dunlap (Executive Director)
Greg Dunlap (POP Board Member)