SHRINE: East-West game to be televised on FSN
By GERRY STEELE
Of the Baker City Herald
"The World's Greatest Philanthropy" is going Hollywood, sort of.
East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game officials and Fox Sports (FSN) have reached an agreement to televise this year's game, which will be held Aug. 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Bulldog Memorial Stadium. The kickoff was changed from 7 p.m. to accommodate FSN's schedule.
Baker City's Wayne Lewis, chairman of the East-West Committee, said Fox (which airs on cable Channel 18 locally) will make a formal announcement Monday. Lewis said the committee has been working on getting the game televised the past four years, and received confirmation from Fox this week.
"We were close to getting the game televised last year," he said. "We weren't able to work out all the logistics, but we continued to work on it. This will make it a whole different world, possibly adding corporate sponsorships, etc.
"This is really a win-win situation not only for the Shriners Hospital, but Baker City and Eastern Oregon as well," Lewis said.
Lewis said the game will be broadcast in Oregon, Washington, western Idaho, including Boise, Alaska and Montana.
The 53rd annual event will showcase some of the most talented Class 3A, 2A and 1A athletes from across Oregon including Baker's Brett Smith and Powder Valley's Arden Perkins. Baker's Casey Mitchell and Pine-Eagle's Jeff Chamberlin also were named as East squad alternates. Baker City's Sadie Duncan has been selected as Shrine queen.
The East-West game was first played at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds in 1952. The game was moved to Baker City in 1973.
Proceeds from the game go to the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children. The hospital is one of 22 owned and operated by the Shriners of North America. The Baker City game annually nets between $65,000 and $80,000 for the hospital, and is the second-largest Shrine fund-raiser, behind the college East-West game, in the nation.
To coincide with FSN's schedule, and the 12:30 p.m. kickoff, some of the other Shrine weekend activities also have been altered.
The annual Shrine parade will start a half-hour earlier, at 10 a.m. instead of 10:30 a.m. Other details, including any affect on the Baker County Fair and Junior Show, still must be finalized.
Andi Sexton, fair manager, said a decision on any possible changes to the fair and animal auction probably will be made Monday evening at a special meeting to discuss the topic.
"It will affect the entire week," Sexton said. "We'll just have to take lemons and try to make lemonade."
FSN Northwest is the cable home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle SuperSonics, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Storm, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, Oregon State Beavers and Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The region reaches more than 3.4 million cable homes in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. FSN reaches nearly 78 million homes through its 20 regional sports channels, and serves as the only supplier of national, regional and local sports programming.
Visit this Web site: www.fox-sports.com.