Patrick's Prototypes, Ray's Renegades, Vernon's VIPs. These are just some of the special sections that line the perimeter of Candlestick Park. Each section represents a specific 49ers CARE group, the program through which 49ers players donate blocks of 20 season tickets to non-profits in the Bay Area.
On Tuesday, Dec. 20, Community Relations and the 49ers Foundation celebrated a season of giving at the Celebrate the Season event at Global Winter Wonderland. Current 49ers players, including K David Akers, T Anthony Davis, C Jonathan Goodwin, G Mike Iupati, QB Scott Tolzien and LB Joe Staley, alumni, including Guy McIntyre, Jesse Sapolu, JJ Stokes, Eric Wright, Greg Clark, and Eason Ramson and members of the 49ers Foundation spent the day interacting with representatives from the 49ers CARE beneficiaries, while everyone enjoyed amusement rides, food, visits with Santa, face-painting, and of course, the beautiful light display.
The day's event, which included cameos from Sourdough Sam and the 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders, was a great way to capture the spirit of the 49ers amazing season, both on the field and off, and to end the year with cheer.
"It's so amazing to reach this point in the season to be where we are on the field, but then off the field to see what we've accomplished," said Joanne Pasternack, executive director of community relations and the 49ers Foundation. "We've had a tremendous year. Not only did we have 100 percent of the players participate in one or more community event over the season, but we were also able to donate $2.4 million to the Bay Area community through the 49ers Foundation."
"The 49ers are really generous in allowing us to purchase tickets for our foundations for each game," said David Akers. "They allow us to buy 20 tickets and set up a program for these kids. I was a part of the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, so we've been able to provide 300 tickets to the kids this season. Today is a great opportunity to just kind of connect with some of those families who have gone through some tough times in their life."
Celebrating the season is exactly what the children and their families did as they got to know some of their favorite on-field heroes.
"It's exciting and humbling to actually meet the children who appreciate what you're doing for them so much and we appreciate them as well, so it's a win/win situation," said Anthony Davis.
Partnering with the International Cultural Exchange Group (ICEG) to bring the event to life, Global Winter Wonderland opened two hours early for the special guests from the 49ers CARE beneficiaries.
The special Celebrate the Season event ended with a giant check presentation representing the 49ers Foundation's charitable grants in 2011; however the amazing season and philanthropic efforts will continue.
Non-profits that received season tickets in 2011 included: The 49ers Academy, Special Olympics of Northern California, Fealofani Samoa III, Bring me a Book, YWCA of Silicon Valley, the California Police Activities League, Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative, House of Grace (CityTeam Ministries), Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford, Bayview/Hunter's Point YMCA, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, The ROLE Model Program and the US Armed Forces—representing a total of 3,200 49ers 2011 tickets.