To say the last few weeks have been fun would be an understatement. There’s been a whirlwind of activity here at the new POP HQ and a lot of hard work has gone into the space. We decided to post one update with pictures and thanks from all the different events.
POP HQ opened on 4/2 and the neighborhood news spread fast. Kids of all ages have been coming by to play free pinball. The #freeflipsforkids and the website pointing to POP HQ was established. A good majority of the traffic are kids and their parents. Most of the kids have not played pinball before and have been very receptive to learning about the games, playing with me and of course who wouldn’t love free custom POP tokens! I’ve literally heard kids leaving POP saying “This place is so AWESOME!”
On 4/13 we woke up bright and very early to host Drew Carney of local NBC Portland KGW 8 news. A great example our local support was demonstrated when friends showed up at 5am on a Monday to play pinball. We had Oregon State Champion Noah Davis, Emma Davis (our volunteer mural artist) and #popstar Cooper Flash Davis playing on WCS, Volley and Royal Flush. We had 12 year old Colin Urban playing Tron with his parents Thomas and Sara. Nathan Mayo and his kids Ripley and Asher rounding out the bunch on Ripley’s new favorite “Big Game”. She had never seen a game with 4 flippers! You can watch the clip here: http://www.kgw.com/videos/news/2015/04/13/drew-pinball-outreach-project/25705263/
We spent 8 minutes LIVE on camera talking about POP and pinball!!! Of course none of this would be possible without the biggest POP volunteer extraordinaire of a lifetime Greg Dunlap who has spent hundreds of hours dedicated to getting the space ready, fixing up games, building furniture and pretty much anything else you can imagine that goes into getting a space ready in under a month.
Speaking of fixing games…Eric Hill, Noah Davis , and Dennis Brenhaug have all given time and parts to help get the line up ready here. Addition to our own games have included temporary game donations by Paige Atkinson (Embryon), Chris Coyle (Volley) and Ben Applebaum (Flag Ship).
Special thanks also go out to Keith Elwin for signing posters, fixing games, and even joining us on KBOO last Monday for a radio interview with Keith Bloom (http://funwithbonus.com/reik-dunlap-elwin-the-pinball-outreach-project-interview/. Thanks Keith & Keith and Steve B. for cutting down the interview.
Generous donations have been coming in from all around. We’ve been working with Karl Lind Films on a little piece about POP, Chad S. & Chad D. on the sign work, Molly Atkinson donated a soldering station of our wish list, Nate Stellhorn raised a ton of extra money for us at Pinbrawl where Issac Ruiz invited us to run the side tournament where we collected half the entry money for POP. Who can forget the big stack of old Bally/Williams posters donated by Mike Mahaffey. These posters will soon decorate the walls of POP and will cherished forever. Huge thanks to all of you. We also appreciate all the likes, tweets, follows and shares of our progress!
We had 31 players for the First Annual #hobowen Classic where 12 year old Colin crushed the competition and we followed that up with a Grand Opening Celebration with all games on free play. A young gentlemen helped me cut the ribbon and babies played on our custom Pinata donated by our neighbors Calaveras y Diablitos. Aaron Abt and Jenn Peavler helped keep the events running by selling tokens and party set-up. Thanks to Stern Pinball for the prizes.
WOW! Just typing all of this you can see the amazing community effort POP HQ is built on. We have exciting plans for the space including a kids league, a kids summer camp, the launch of #popstars and much more. We are opening our space to our friends at The Children’s Cancer Association and hosting our first “Family Night” for their organization.
We are also continuing our plans for Children’s Hospital outreach and have many more exciting things in the works so stay tuned and thank you for your support.
Nicole Anne Reik
Founder & Executive Director
POP – Pinball Outreach Project