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49ers Foundation Fundraiser Benefits Santa Clara Students

The 49ers scored two wins at Levi’s Stadium the weekend of Aug. 12. The team started the weekend with a 21-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers. They ended it with a record amount raised for local nonprofits.

Thanks to generous donations from attendees and sponsors, the annual Players for a Purpose event raised $760,000 on Aug. 14.

The fundraiser featured a dinner on the field at Levi’s Stadium and allowed donors to dine with 49ers players as they bid on auction items. But it wasn’t just donors that enjoyed the festivities. Members of the local nonprofits involved with the 49ers Foundation also participated, including several students from Santa Clara High School (SCHS).

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“It was definitely unique. Obviously, I was excited,” said SCHS 10th grader Samuel Geevarghese. “With STEM there’s been so many opportunities that I’ve really enjoyed and teach us so much. Just even being here, learning to talk to people, how to keep them engaged has been really fun.”

Geevarghese attended the event with other classmates involved in the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (SLI), a program that starts when they’re at Cabrillo Middle School and carries them through high school at SCHS.

“I think it was a great experience for us because we were able to present to a lot of different people about all the things and projects we’ve been doing over the course of, for us, the past three years,” said SCHS 9th grader Gauri Todur, another SLI member.

The SLI students got a front row seat as donors bid on auction items and pledged money to the 49ers Foundation. Money that will go directly to new learning experiences for them.

“Just seeing people raise their hands and say ‘I want to donate this much,’ it was like, wow. Because people actually recognize the program that we’re in and they care enough to donate something that they worked for,” said 10th grader and SLI student Micah Keegan.

Sarah Rahman is the Director of the 49ers SLI program. While it was her second time attending the 49ers Foundation event, she was also in awe.

“I’m thinking about, oh my gosh, the tutoring, the lab tools, the way I can bring them into service learning,” said Rahman. “How to take that money and actually be able to help the kids. It’s always in my head. When I think about this, this is going to be a lot of money to be able to help the kids. And the dollars really do go to the kids. You see it right away, especially when you’re in the program, at the schools, you can see how much the dollar amounts really impact the kids.”

The students dined with 49ers offensive linemen Justin Skule and Sam Schlueter. For SLI 9th grader Zoe Reyes-Laughery, she was happy to soak in the moment.

“I feel like, how many people get to do this?” said Reyes-Laughery. “I’m only 14. I’m just kind of shocked at what I get to do at 14 that some people don’t ever get to do. It’s pretty amazing.”

The Santa Clara football team was also involved in the event. Several players had the opportunity speak to donors on the field and meet some of the 49ers. They also walked across the stage with players at the start of the event and even got a shout out from 49ers Team President Jed York.

“It’s awesome to see Santa Clara football team coming out here today. Got to meet somebody who’s going to USC next year, congratulations,” said York.

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