(PORTLAND, ORE.) -A magnificent new holiday light fixture is being dedicated to the late Trail Blaze Jerome Kersey, who passed February of this year. Illuminating 3,800 lights bulbs, the grand Christmas Decoration titled "JK25 Santa Hat" will be presented from a West Hills Home, and should be visible from downtown and southeast Portland. The light fixture is in the final phases of being installed and will light up for the first time on this Friday, November 13th.
This project was thought up by Ron Sloy who was a close friend to Kersey for over 30 years, Sloy wanted to honor his dear friend in a special way. “Jerome was an incredible man both on and off the basketball court,” says Sloy. “Not only was he an impact player for the Blazers, he was also extremely engaged in his community, always reaching out to enrich the lives of others.”
Kersey was a major contributor to numerous youth groups and could always be found after Blazers stockpiling food for the homeless in the community.
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Since the passing of Kersey there have been talks among the Blazer community about retiring the number 25, in recognition of his outstanding performance with the Blazers. He held records in many categories such as games and minutes played, steals, field goals, assists, rebounding, scoring, blocked shots. According to well-known Blazer announcer, Bill Schonely, Kersey was a talented player who left a great impression on all that had a chance to meet him.Says Schonely, “Jerome was loved by everyone. This unique display will allow Portlanders to celebrate his legacy.”
Setting up the gigantic holiday fixture was a process that required planning and attention to detail. The 32' feet high, 34' wide fixture features a giant "JK25" Santa hat illuminating 3,800 lights set on an aluminum frame mounted on a home in West Hills. The fixture was designed by Hanset Stainless, it took approximately six weeks to build and 7 days to install. “This truly was a unique and challenging project,” says Shane Crunchie, project manager for Hanset Stainless. “Our whole team was excited to be a part of such a special project to honor a great member of the Portland community.”
Crunchie speculates that the JK25 Santa hat will be an important Christmas fixture in Portland for future holidays to come.
Sloy stated that the Christmas Fixture will be raised every holiday season in memory of Kersey. “I hope that Portlanders will join me in recognizing all that Jerome did for the Blazers and for our community,” he says. “Jerome’s number will be hanging high in our night sky for all to see. I hope it will also be hanging from the rafters before too long.”
Fans are encouraged to engage in the conversation around retiring Kersey’s jersey number by Tweeting #JK25, #retirejerseyJK25