PORTLAND, ME – April 16, 2020 – The Mariners are continuing their support of COVID-19 relief efforts with the launch of a jersey auction that will raise funds for local schools and non-profits. Starting on Monday, April 20th, an exclusive set of specialty jerseys will go up for auction, each one representing a local school district or non-profit organization.
Like the #CommunityAtTheCore t-shirt which is currently for sale at the Mariners online store, the jersey depicts the word “HOME”, using the outline of the state of Maine and the Mariners logo, which is also the postal abbreviation for the state. Staying at home has been the hallmark of “flattening the curve” in order to contain the spread COVID-19. The design also serves as a reminder that Maine is our home and that everyone is in this fight together.
“We had many jersey auctions throughout the season, but this one is the most important,” said Danny Briere, Mariners Vice President of Operations. “Maine is our home and we want to be there for the communities in this tough time as they’ve always been there for us.”
Only a limited amount of these exclusive jerseys will be available, each one representing a different school district or non-profit organization. The auction, which will run on Handbid, will begin on Monday, April 20th, and end on Friday, May 1st. Bidding on each jersey will begin at $200.
Portland Public Schools have a number of COVID-19 related funds in need of support. The “Extended Learning Fund” supports disproportionately affected economically disadvantaged students. The “PPS Food Fund” is specifically targeted at reducing food insecurity for families beyond school-time meals. “Families in Crisis” allows staff from the Portland Multilingual & Multicultural Center to provide urgent, critical supports to vulnerable families in order to keep them housed, employed, and connected to their school distance learning program. Finally, the “Where It’s Needed Most” fund provides general support to grow capacity, fund daily operations, and have flexible funding to use as needed.
“We are grateful to the Mariners for their creative efforts to support community organizations,” said Xavier Botana, Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. “These are unprecedented times, so it’s great to see the Mariners continue their efforts to reach out to schools and the community.”
The Gorham School district plans to use the funds raised to support “Operation Feed Gorham,” which is currently providing daily meals to over 360 community members in Gorham. The program supports some of the most in-need families and community members and is essential in making sure students and families in the Gorham community do not experience food insecurity while staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The Gorham community has always come together to support one another during difficult times,” said Heather Perry, Superintendent of the Gorham School District. “Operation Feed Gorham is just one more example of how awesome our community is!”
Other organizations that will benefit from the auction include South Portland School Department, Biddeford Schools, the United Way of Greater Portland, and Good Shepherd Food Bank. Local school districts and non-profit organizations interested in benefitting from the auction should contact the Mariners at 833-GO-MAINE or by emailing Linsey_MacDougall@comcastspectacor.com.