Members of the San Francisco 49ers participated in the UCSF Children's Hospital prom night event.
The San Francisco 49ers danced the night away with the teens of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay on Friday. The Prom at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital gives teenage patients ages 13-19 a night filled with fun and friends – free from the isolation of illness. Patients get decked out in donated prom fashions, enjoy an evening filled with music, food, and photo booths, and leave the prom with a gift bag and a professional prom photo.
Greeted by 49ers linemen who exchanged their jerseys for suits and tuxedos for one evening, 150 inpatients and outpatients and their guests arrived to a red carpet scene fit for the stars. Arm-in-arm, players including Brandon Thomas, Chris Martin, Fouimalo Fonoti, Kaleb Ramsey, Michael Purcell and Trey Millard walked the teens down the carpet to receive their boutonnieres and corsages.
"We've been excited to give these teens a red carpet experience—escorting them to get their corsages or boutonnieres, then to the photo station, and onto the dance floor," Fonoti shared. "It's been such a fun evening, and one we will hold onto for a long time."
After taking a professional prom photo with tight ends Derek Carrier, Garrett Celek and Garrett Celek, and long snapper Kyle Nelson, the teens modeled their ball gowns, high heels and tuxes towards the dance floor, where defensive lineman Quinton Dial helped get the party started.
The hospital walls were draped and decorated to create a ballroom of elegance, and a prom that all those in attendance will remember for a lifetime. Patients were able to escape the feelings which come from treatment, diagnosis and adversity, and enjoy such a milestone event like every prom king and queen should.
"While we are here trying to help make a difference, there is in turn a huge impact made on us," McDonald said. "The staff, volunteers and my teammates have been wonderful, and seeing the guests [patients] walk in here with such illuminating spirits after all they've been through is what really makes experiences like these so memorable and heartwarming."