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Off the Field: Arik Armstead's Inaugural Kick Off for Kids Gala 📚

At the beginning of June, San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead hosted the Armstead Academic Project's inaugural Kick Off for Kids Gala. The charity event supported youth academic success, no matter their socioeconomic status.

"What inspired me to start the Armstead Academic Project, I was a kid who struggled in school at a young age and if it wasn't for people who poured into my life, I would've had no shot at being successful," Armstead said. "There's a lot of kids who are just like me, who just need some nurturing and some resources to be poured into, their potential is endless. Those are the kids we're trying to reach and serve."

Sacramento icons and members of the 49ers such as quarterback Trey Lance, defensive lineman Alex Barrett, wide receiver Jauan Jennings, alumnus Patrick Willis and co-chair Dr. John York showed their support for the worthy cause at the black tie event. The night was focused on community empowerment and fun, as guests enjoyed a live performance from hip-hop legend Doug E Fresh and unique live and silent auction items. Overall, the inaugural Kick Off for Kids Gala raised over $250,000 for education equity.

"We have stressed that the players' responsibilities are not only on the field, but also to work in the community," Dr. York said. "Arik has done this since he first became a 49er and he has encouraged other players to not only come to his event, but to go to other charitable events, so that they are out in the community and they can all have their own platform that helps raise awareness throughout our communities to help kids in need."

As a team captain, Armstead has been nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award for three-consecutive seasons for his commitment to serving his community. Since creating the Armstead Academic Project in 2019, the defensive lineman has helped raise over $2 million for youth in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

At the Thursday night gala, Armstead was also surprised to receive the key to the city of Sacramento, personally handed over by Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg.

"Some might ask, 'Does it open the (door) to the city treasury,'" Steinberg joked. "The answer is 'No,' but it opens the key to the city's heart, and you have it, and we are grateful for you, man."

View images of Arik Armstead's Inaugural Kick Off For Kids Gala, where sponsors, attendees and the Sacramento community raised over $250,000 for education equity.

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