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Good vibes for a good cause: The People’s Tommy Point Charity Drive for 18

We spoke with Ryan “Riffs Man” Hebert about his ongoing charity drive for Marcus Smart’s YounGame Changer Foundation.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

In a season riddled with challenges and frustrations, a group of Boston Celtics fans have come together to cultivate some positivity and work towards a good cause. The result is The People’s Tommy Point Charity Drive for 18, a multi-day charity drive culminating in a digital telethon this Thursday, May 13.

In advance of the event, we discussed The People’s Tommy Point Drive with the man at the center of it all: Ryan “Riffs Man” Hebert.

In your words, what exactly is The People’s Tommy Point Charity Drive for 18? Tell us some more about the event: what do you have planned for it and what organization are you setting out to support?

Riffs Man: The People’s Tommy Point Charity Drive for 18 was a concept brought to me initially by my good friend, Rich Levine. I had taken to making minor contributions every game to Marcus Smart’s YounGameChanger Foundation and their PayPal as a way to feel like I was supporting the team a little bit better amidst so many hardships and so much unnecessary negativity surrounding a team that’s clearly injured and struggling with post-Covid complications. Rich suggested the idea of creating a multimedia event that brings together fans, online creatives, media members, former players and the present teams’ charitable endeavors.

All of the proceeds will be going directly to the YounGameChanger Foundation, who we are in direct contact with. The whole idea is to show Marcus and the team some love after everything that’s happened in the past year, and to cultivate some better vibes heading into the playoffs.

You mentioned in our previous conversation that there are going to be some special guest appearances during the drive. Any teasers you’d like to give our audience about who might make an appearance?

RM: So far, the vision for this endeavor is to include Celtics figures from different eras, and I think we’ve got a great variety of people with great energy and enthusiasm. Mike Gorman, Dino Radja and Robert Parish have been generous enough to give us their time so far, and we’re looking forward to also be speaking with Acie Earl and Ricky Davis. This event is also gonna put a spotlight on some local media who I think do great work and there’s gonna be music and artwork that I think represents the creative elements of Celtics Twitter and their excellent contributions.

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

This has been a uniquely challenging season for a lot of reasons, and from our previous discussions and your commentary on Twitter, I know that’s had an effect on how you discuss and conceptualize this season. How has your mindset changed and how did that play a role in The People’s Tommy Point Drive coming to life?

RM: I think this season and watching how it’s unfolded has caused me to dramatically re-evaluate how I view and consume sports on an ethical level. I more or less had notoriety for a quirky, absurdist brand of comedic posts centered around the team, their games and kind of how I see the world. At a certain point, seeing how this season and the coverage has worn on the team, I started to think about our responsibility in cultivating an atmosphere that honors everyone’s humanity just a bit better and is more understanding. In some ways, I did positive things but I reflected on some of my commentary on sports that I didn’t like.

I also saw people hammering the team as individuals and I just felt like, if I have any say in the matter, I’m gonna try to contribute in more of a positive way that brings people together. I hated seeing the players’ character questioned for results in a season and schedule that really hasn’t allowed them to compete in a way that’s reflective of their talent and character.

So, for our readers who aren’t as perpetually logged into Twitter as you and I, where can they tune in for the drive and what’s the best way for them to donate?

RM: Right now, you can visit my pinned tweet on Twitter at @Riffs_Man and use the PayPal group link (also linked here) that we are getting to the YounGameChanger Foundation, who is cooperating with us and has been really great in this process. At 8 pm EST on May 13, there will be a Twitch stream at that’s gonna be broadcasting our digital telethon, alongside a simulcast on Twitter from the @Riffs_Man account.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Riffs. I’m really looking forward to turning in and having a Real Cool Time.

RM: It should be a lot of fun, and I hope that it can be something people online can rally around for Marcus Smart’s cause off the court. I think if we rally around this Celtics team and all of their causes off the court, we can do really beautiful things in this community.

So there you have it, folks. The People’s Tommy Point Charity Drive for 18 is underway now, and the telethon will be coming up this Thursday, May 13 at 8 PM EST on Donations are open right now, and as of this writing, the drive has already been spectacularly successful, surpassing the original goal of $20,000 in just five short hours. Please consider tuning in and contributing to Marcus Smart’s YounGameChanger Foundation. We at CelticsBlog hope to see you there!

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