The San Francisco 49ers organization spent a weekend in late March surrounded by the beautiful mountain vistas of Olympic Valley, Calif., where they joined Olympians and other celebrities to bring in more than $1.5 million for the San Francisco 49ers Foundation at the 16th Annual Winter Fest. The weekend-long event, presented by Chevron, celebrated philanthropy, football, family, as well as food and wine, while supporting youth in the Bay Area through the 49ers Foundation and its outreach programming. The highlighted beneficiary for 2016 was the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute.
The vision of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, established in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District with significant support from Chevron, is to inspire the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders of the future. In July 2014, the 49ers Foundation launched the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, a collaborative education venture with 60 high-achieving 7th graders at the Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, Calif. The six-year program exposes students to a rigorous curriculum of science, technology, engineering and math, strengthening their skills to prepare them for eventual entry to top-tier colleges in STEM fields and STEM careers. In fall 2016, the program – now serving 120 students – will expand to Santa Clara High School (SCHS) and, at full capacity in 2019, will serve 350 students from 7th through 12th grade. When Fab Lab SCHS opens, it will provide state-of-the-art equipment for the SLI students as well as the greater community of STEM entrepreneurs.
San Francisco 49ers co-chairman John York, chief executive officer Jed York and wife Danielle York, co-owners Jenna York and Mara York, and team executives, including general manager Trent Baalke, President Al Guido, and chief strategy officer and executive vice president of football operations Paraag Marathe, joined head coach Chip Kelly, offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins, defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil, special teams coordinator Derius Swinton II, running backs coach Tom Rathman, and wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell at the three-day event. Also in attendance were current 49ers players DL Arik Armstead, S L.J. McCray, QB Dylan Thompson, RB Kendall Gaskins, and C Marcus Martin. 49ers alumni were well-represented by Dwight Clark, Keena Turner, Ricky Watters, Bubba Paris, Guy McIntyre, Tommy Hart, Jimmy Webb, Dennis Brown and Brian Jennings. They were all joined by Olympians and elite athletes – including Olympic and World Cup champion Brandi Chastain, former NHL winger Owen Nolan, Olympic medalists Charlie Tickner, Jeff Hamilton and Kirsten Clark-Rickenbach, freestyle skiing World Champion Kyle Smaine and inspirational climber Steve Wampler, and 49ers Foundation Board members, sponsors and donors.
The action-packed weekend featured a Chalk Talk presented by the 49ers coaching staff and players, leisure skiing with Olympians, ice skating with Charlie Tickner, broomball with Owen Nolan, snowshoeing with Trent Baalke and a 49ers Alumni Fireside Chat. In addition, guest participated in a yoga class taught by 49ers alumnus Brian Jennings, s'mores with Gold Rush cheerleaders, a first-ever ladies leadership breakfast featuring Brandi Chastain, a screening of Wampler's Ascent – a documentary chronicling Steve Wampler's climb up El Capitan, a youth-oriented session on teamwork, and Chevron's Innovation at Play STEM-focused interactive exhibit for all ages. The evening events were emceed by the voice of the 49ers, Ted Robinson, and included silent and live auctions.
Sponsors of the event included the following: Presenting Sponsor – Chevron. Platinum Sponsor – Maui Jim Sunglasses. Gold Sponsors – Bud Light, Levi's®, Mountain Winery Kids Foundation, NRG, Quintess, and the Resort at Squaw Creek. Silver Sponsors – Avenir Restaurant Group, BlackRock, Dignity Health, GMR Marketing, HP Enterprises, Kerns, and Potter Electric. Bronze Sponsors – Sir Dudley's Custom Clothier, Steinbeck Country Produce, Verizon, and Wells Fargo.
Winter Fest also showcased some of the finest wineries from California: Ancien Wines, Bespoke Collection, Chappellet, Ferrari-Carano, Flowers, Foxen, Gargiulo, Hanzell, Hunnicutt, Kosta Browne, Martinelli, Melville, Merry Edwards, Mi Sueño, Peter Michael, Pride, Red Stitch, Ridge, Robert Foley Vineyards, Signorello Estate, Skywalker, Switchback Ridge, and Three Sticks Wines all poured at the wine tastings and receptions, which took place Friday and Saturday evenings.
View photos from Winter Fest in Lake Tahoe, California where the 49ers Foundation holds the annual charitable fundraiser to support the group's mission of keeping children safe, on track and in school.