During the 49ers Foundation's annual fundraising event, 49ers players competed in a virtual game of Playmakers Pictionary presented by U.S. Bank with the Faithful.
On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers held their annual kickoff to the season, Players for a Purpose presented by SAP. Even though this year's event was held virtually, players, coaches and the Faithful still showed up to support the 49ers Foundation and celebrate the start of the 2020 season. The event featured special messages from general manager John Lynch, CEO Jed York, 49ers Foundation co-chair Dr. John York, Jerry Rice, Raheem Mostert, Dre Greenlaw in addition to a game night and breakout sessions with a number of 49ers players.
Here are five takeaways from the event which kicked off the 2020 season with a night of philanthropy and fun!
1. Faithful Raises Money for Bay Area Youth
During the main program, 49ers senior team reporter Keiana Martin hosted a fund-a-need auction where fans could donate any amount from $49 to $25,000 to the 49ers Foundation. Each price point helped the Foundation in a different way - from providing in-classroom supplies for teachers in need, to educational resources and flag football equipment for the Foundation to deliver to schools across the Bay, every dollar matters. Within a 10-minute span, the Foundation had raised over $100,000 to benefit their mission of educating and empowering Bay Area youth. The fund-a-need auction is open throughout the rest of the week. Go to bidpal.net/kickoff2020 to donate and support the 49ers Foundation.
The event also served as a celebration and opportunity for the Foundation to highlight the incredible organizations and partnerships that make the work they do for Bay Area youth possible.
"Tonight is a celebration," said Justin Prettyman, 49ers Foundation Executive Director. "We celebrate our accomplishments to date. We celebrate the thousands of young minds that have walked through our doors. We celebrate the work of 49ers EDU, 49ers PREP and the incredible work of our legacy partners, 49ers Academy, 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, City Year San Jose, Tipping Point Community and Center for Youth Wellness."
2. Jed York Offseason Recap
Jed York took the opportunity to let the Faithful know what the 49ers have been doing to make an impact in the community this offseason and training camp. He highlighted the social justice grant program that the team is rolling out next week and the work that the players will be doing around voter education. He also talked about the pride he had for the work that the Foundation is doing in the community and has been doing for the last 30 years.
"The last few months have brought a lot of change and a lot of challenges in our community and sparked important and difficult conversations," said York. "The 49ers Foundation's direct programs are committed to providing resources for teachers, parents and coaches as we look forward to supporting youth as they start the school year virtually. The demand for digital content has never been greater and we've risen to the challenge."
3. Game Night
The Faithful had the opportunity to join 49ers players for a game of Playmakers Pictionary presented by U.S. Bank. Fans were divided into eight teams for a game of Pictionary. Daniel Brunskill took home the inaugural Playmakers Pictionary trophy for his team with 43 points thanks to his killer drawing skills and his team's stellar guessing abilities. In second place was Trent Taylor with 25 points and third place went to Trent Williams with 23 points. Rookie Javon Kinlaw beat out several of the vets with 19 points. Jimmie Ward had 18, Deebo Samuel had 17, Ronald Blair III had 15 and in last place was Dee Ford with 11 points.
Highlights of the game included Ronald Blair showcasing his drawing skills with an extravagant meat lovers pizza while rookie Javon Kinlaw showed the vets how to draw the perfect football, paying extra attention to getting the laces just right.
4. 1:1 Player Session Highlights
The highlight of the night had to be the 1:1 player and legend sessions. These sessions included a Q&A with Kyle Juszczyk, chalk talks with defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and learning what it's like to block for Jimmy Garoppolo from Mike McGlinchey. Fans even had the chance to see 49ers legend Bryant Young sit down with Arik Armstead and hear from two of the best tight ends to ever wear the red and gold, 49ers legend Brent Jones and George Kittle. Joe Staley even made an appearance to give fans an update on life after retiring last Spring.
5. Faithful to the Next Generation
In total, the 49ers Foundation raised nearly half a million dollars thanks to the generosity and support of the Faithful. With Tuesday's event, the 49ers Foundation will be able to continue their work educating and empowering Bay Area youth through its two direct programs, EDU and PREP. The Foundation is committed to addressing the digital divide this Fall and providing youth, teachers, coaches and parents across the Bay Area the resources and tools needed to be successful during distance and at-home learning.