The San Francisco 49ers have announced that Fernando Aguilar, a long-time volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, is the winner of the 2010 49ers Community Quarterback Award. In honor of his contributions to the community, the San Francisco 49ers Foundation and NFL Charities will present a $10,000 grant to Aguilar for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, earmarked for Camp Mendocino, at a team luncheon on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kingfish Restaurant in San Mateo. The luncheon will be hosted by former 49ers quarterback Steve Bono.
Aguilar, a San Francisco resident, attended the Mission Clubhouse of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco as a child, and spent his summers at the organization's Camp Mendocino on the North Coast of California. For over 20 years, Aguilar has been a significant part of Camp Mendocino – as a camper, counselor, and adult volunteer.
"The Boys and Girls Club was there for me, and has been there for countless other forgotten youth in San Francisco for the past 119 years," shared Aguilar. "Their influence was paramount. As long as I live, it is my privilege to do for the Club, and the community at large, whatever I can."
Founded in 1891, Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco (BGCSF) serves more than 1,200 youth (ages 6 to 18) per day, offering a safe place to learn and grow. It operates nine clubhouses in the city's toughest neighborhoods, as well as Camp Mendocino, a residential summer camp in Mendocino County. Dedicated to helping the kids who need it most, BGCSF provides a broad range of programs that inspire young people to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
Aguilar has dedicated thousands of hours to supporting BGCSF. A striking example of his commitment may be seen through the mountain bike program he started. In 2007, Camp Mendocino received a donation of 50 dirt bikes. Aguilar noticed that, after a summer of intense use, the bikes were in poor condition. Since no one had bike repair experience, he decided to take a bike repair class and he returns to camp each summer to repair the bikes and lead kids on trail rides. When youth showed an interest in gardening and composting, he became certified in composting in order to design systems for composting all food scraps and to educate the kids about the origins of their food.
According to BGCSF Development Director Jenny Beck, Aguilar "is the productive, responsible, and caring citizen that we guide all Club members to become. He is a true example of what giving back to your community looks like."
The 49ers are also pleased to recognize the five Community Quarterback Award finalists, who will each receive a $1,000 grant for their non-profit organizations. The finalists include:
- Adrian Aguilar, an 18-year-old San Jose resident and volunteer with Sunnyvale Community Services, a Sunnyvale based organization dedicated to preventing homelessness and hunger for low-income families and seniors facing temporary crises through financial aid, food, and other support. Aguilar has been volunteering with SCS twice a week since he was 14 years old, helping to distribute food bags for 1,300 families a month.
- Jeff Burham, a San Jose resident and volunteer with TurningWheels for Kids in San Jose. TurningWheels For Kids is a nonprofit charity dedicated to providing a new bike to every underprivileged child that has ever wanted a bicycle. Burham was one of the original founders of TWFK and donates not only his time and expertise to the organization but also in kind support through his commercial printing company, Chase VP.
- Police officer Keala Keanaaina, a Union City resident, school resource officer, father of six, and volunteer with the San Mateo Police Activities League. San Mateo PAL is an organization dedicated to creating a safe society by developing the potential of at-risk youth through meaningful activities and positive interactions with law enforcement personnel and community volunteers. Keanaaina founded the PAL Rugby program and led them to the National Championships in 2010.
- Elenore McGorty, a 93-year-old Alameda resident and volunteer with Mercy Retirement and Care Center and the Mercy Brown Bag Program. The Brown Bag Program provides free groceries for low-income senior citizens. McGorty, a retired school teacher, has volunteered with the program for over 30 years, gathering produce, sorting donated food, distributing food bags, and helping wherever needed.
- Tracy Redig, a Novato resident and volunteer for Lifehouse. Lifehouse seeks to open the doors of opportunity to developmentally disabled individuals in Marin and Sonoma counties through life-skills training, community integration, advocacy, referrals and information about resources. Redig has volunteered with the organization for over 5 years, helping them to raise more than $350,000 annually through their Great Chefs event.
The 49ers Community Quarterback program, as part of the NFL Charities Community Quarterback efforts, recognizes dedicated local individuals who devote their time to improving the lives of Bay Area residents. The program, in its tenth year, calls for nominations of Bay Area community volunteers who demonstrate leadership, dedications and a commitment to bettering their communities.
Nominations were due in October 2010 and the five finalists and overall winner were chosen in November 2010. In addition to the grants, a plaque, and a recognition luncheon, the finalists and winner will also be acknowledged in an on-field presentation prior to the 49ers game against the Seattle Seahawks on December 12, 2010.
To learn more about the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, Community Relations Program, and this award and others, please visit http://www.49ers.com.