The 49ers Foundation hosted a VIP Training Camp Experience with internationally-known Chef Bradley Ogden at 49ers Headquarters on Friday, July 26th. The unique opportunity to experience world-class dining while viewing the 49ers afternoon practice was an auction item sold at the 13th Annual 49ers Foundation Winter Fest held in Lake Tahoe.
"Winter Fest is the largest fundraiser to support the 49ers Foundation's charitable contributions to the community, funds we are able to grant out to the community during the course of the year," said Joanne Pasternack, Community Relations and 49ers Foundation Director. "One of the ways we raise those funds is by providing unique auction items, and today's event is an example of one of those items. As a part of the VIP Training Camp Experience with celebrity chef Bradley Ogden, guests are being treated to an opportunity not only to watch practice, but enjoy some incredible food from one of the best chefs in the United States. It has been a fun day for everyone."
The VIP Training Camp experience was a hotly-contested item at Winter Fest. In fact, two guests were bidding so heavily on it that they actually agreed to allow the item to be sold twice, doubling the contribution to the Foundation and incorporating 40 guests versus the originally planned 20.
"Not only did we get to raise the money once, but we raised the money twice for this event," Pasternack said. "The two gentlemen who purchased the item are Bill Potter and Rolando Herrera. Bill Potter is a longtime supporter of the 49ers Foundation and a generous benefactor to the community. Rolando Herrera owns the Mi Sueno Winery and is a supporter of the Foundation as well. Herrera is also a tequila connoisseur and just an incredible food and wine lover. In addition to his donation at Winter Fest, he also donated cases of his wine to share with the guests today."
"To be here tonight with my wife, my son, and friends is fantastic. It's just a day to take a moment to slow down, pause and enjoy all the hard work that we've done throughout the year," said Rolando Herrera. "Just to be here at the facility with the team is amazing, it's unbelievable, and it's a dream come true. It's one of those things where you want to pinch yourself."
"I'm really big into giving back and I really admire the Foundation and the work they put into it, including the 49ers Academy," said Bill Potter. "We are truly honored to be able to give back and also be a part of this wonderful event, as it all goes to such a great cause."
As guests mingled and watched practice, Chef Bradley Ogden prepared the amazing menu for the evening, a gourmet meal specially designed and executed to perfection.
"We are presenting a Summer BBQ," Chef Bradley Ogden said. "We are doing a watermelon and heirloom tomato salad with a little micro-basil finish. Then, I'm doing a baked steak dish with a baked four pound New York bone in steak that I'm going to carve, served with summer corn, a little sweet marble potato, a warm salad with caper and mustard, and we'll top it all off with homemade soft-serve ice-cream sundae with berries, caramel sauce, whipped cream, and cake crumbs."
After the delicious dinner was served and devoured, guests had the chance to receive autographs from some of their favorite 49ers, and were also treated to an informative and fun Q&A session with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula and quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst.