To kick-off the 49ers first Community Tuesday event of the season, students of the 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto had a little soul added to their music department Tuesday afternoon through a special visit from 49ers players including wide receivers Josh Morgan and Micheal Spurlock, tight end Delanie Walker and safety Reggie Smith.
As part of the United Way's Week of Caring, the players, along with volunteers who purchased the opportunity to work alongside players at a Community Tuesday event this season at the 49ers Celebrity Winter & Wine Fest charity event this past off-season, renovated the EPA SOUL music room at the 49ers Academy for the teams' featured community relations event of the month. The 49ers community relations theme for September is Respect for Schools.
"We just want to make this place as nice as possible for these kids," said wide receiver Josh Morgan, who is also the 49ers United Way representative. "Growing up, I never really had anything like this. The professional sports team never really came around, so I'm sure it is exciting for these kids to see us out here face to face without pads on. I really love doing anything for the kids."
The players and additional volunteers transformed a drab music room into a studio fit for rock stars. Once finished, the EPA SOUL music room was complete with couches, chairs, rugs, a wall of framed record covers, microphones, a drum set, a piano and an additional wall full of guitars.
Along with the renovations, the 49ers also planted flowers and bushes outside the music room to enhance the overall environment of the school.
"Before, it was basically an empty room," 49ers Academy Multimedia Director John Colleton said. "Now I'm excited to see the kids' faces when they walk in today. I know their faces will just light up."
And when the kids finally got to see their music room, Colleton's prediction was spot on.
The children beamed when they stepped into the transformed room and didn't know what to do first. A couple of kids grabbed guitars. Some looked at all the records on the wall. Another sat down at the drums. And several others just looked around and marveled at the room.
But several minutes later, every child in the room was focused on the stage area. All four 49ers players picked up instruments and put on a little concert. Walker, Morgan and Spurlock took over the guitars while Smith handled the drums. The players had a little help from a couple of the 49ers Academy students who joined in for the vocals.
Prior to the show and the unveiling of the finished room, Morgan spent much of his time during the day with Colleton unwrapping and setting up the guitars, Spurlock was outside planting flowers and Smith and Walker were inside putting together the chairs and additional furniture donated by IKEA. IKEA generously donated over $4,000 to this project.
During the chair assembly process Walker struggled a little bit. In the same time it took him to put together one chair, Smith finished four.
"They're all working too fast," Walker joked. "I'm taking my time and making sure they are all safely put together. I am going to sit down on all these others when I'm done with my first one because I want to make sure they are safe for the kids."
Others who donated time and money to this event included interior designer Dani Johnston of Mackenzie Johnston Interiors, volunteers from Cross Marketing, IKEA, and S&M Moving Systems.