View some of the best images of 49ers players and coaches in the community in 2015.
The San Francisco 49ers have been selected as a finalist for Sports Team of the Year by Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. For their community relations efforts in 2014, the 49ers will be acknowledged on a global scale along with Chicago Fire Soccer Club (USA), Saracens Rugby Club (UK) and SV Werder Bremen (Germany), at the Beyond Sport Summit & Awards 2015 ceremony in London on October 20. This year's shortlist of 39 entries across 12 categories represents 20 different countries and spans 23 sports.
The Sports Team of the Year Award celebrates an amateur or professional sports team that goes beyond addressing increased participation levels. The international award focuses on major issues occurring within a team's community and the values of the community initiatives have been integrated into the wider operational activities of the team itself.
In 2014 alone, 49ers community relations hosted a total of 45 main events and supported more than 100 special events. In total, 49ers 2014 community relations and outreach efforts directly impacted roughly 10,000 community members and 49ers Faithful, logged more than 500 community service hours, donated $4.6 million to the community and inspired many more through their charitable activities.
Highlighting the organization's 2014 community relations efforts and its commitment to keeping kids "Safe, On Track, and In School;" in July 2014, the San Francisco 49ers, Chevron, Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVeF), and the Santa Clara Unified School District launched the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, with 60 high-achieving 7th graders at the newly-designed Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara. For over 15 years, the 49ers Foundation has also been a primary supporter of the San Francisco 49ers Academy - a school in East Palo Alto, Calif., that seeks to bridge the opportunity gap for underserved middle school students through in-school and after school programs.
The highlight reel of the San Francisco 49ers community relations and foundation efforts in 2014.
Where the funds of the Foundation are directed, so are the 49ers hands-on charitable outreach efforts. Each of the last five years, every player on the San Francisco 49ers chose to participate in at least one charitable event. During the season, players are in the community every week on their day off, directly interacting with at-risk youth and helping families in need through hands- on service events. From reading books to kindergarteners to running youth football camps, serving meals to homeless families to delivering toys to critically ill children in time for the holidays, hosting Make-A-Wish youth, building homes with Habitat-for-Humanity, promoting the importance of leadership, scholarship, and a healthy lifestyle, speaking up against gang membership, and so much more, 49ers players are actively engaged in improving the lives of those facing challenges.
The 49ers Foundation focuses its major giving on a select number of Bay Area programs – including the 49ers Academy (East Palo Alto), Fresh Lifelines for Youth (Milpitas), the Center for Youth Wellness (San Francisco), the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, Hedge Funds Care's Child Abuse Eradication Programs and the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute – however the organization continues to support scores of local non-profits through player and alumni player involved events and also through donations of 49ers memorabilia for non-profit fundraisers, partnerships, game day stadium drives for items like food and warm coats, and thousands of free gameday tickets to low-income and at-risk youth and local non-profit organization and the like. To ensure maximum impact, nearly 80% of the contributions from the 49ers Foundation went to eight primary beneficiaries.
"The 49ers Foundation is the embodiment of the 49ers commitment to being a force for change in the community. Through football we have a platform to serve as role models and to make lasting change in the Bay Area," said Joanne Pasternack, executive director of the 49ers Foundation and Community Relations. "The San Francisco 49ers are truly honored to be recognized as an international finalist for Sports Team of the Year for our community relations efforts throughout the Bay Area. Thanks to the steadfast commitment of the York family, we are able to make a difference in the community by leveraging a variety of events and programming year-round."
The Beyond Sport Summit & Awards 2015, supported by Comic Relief will be announced at the Grange St. Paul's Hotel in London on October 20 from 6:30-10 p.m. GMT.