There are many football bowl games. But there’s one bowl where everyone’s a winner. It’s the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s annual Pasta Bowl charity dinner.
Now in its tenth year, the event brings together fans and the entire 49ers organization to raise money for the team’s charitable mission of keeping kids “safe, on track and in school.” Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) is a partner with the 49ers in organizing the event, and this year’s sponsors included software giant SAP and green energy pioneer NRG.
On August 28, the team traded in shoulder pads for aprons, and played host to the some 700 guests at Levi’s Stadium United Club, with Sourdough Sam and the Gold Rush Cheerleaders helping to entertain the guests.
This year’s beneficiaries were Fresh Lifelines for Youth, City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation-49ers STEM Leadership Institute presented by Chevron – which opens its second STEMZONE at Santa Clara High School this month.
“In a few weeks we will celebrate the ribbon-cutting at the Chevron STEMZONE Fab Lab at Santa Clara High School,” said 49ers Co-Chairman Dr. John York. “The first STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School provides 300 hours of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics] learning to students each year. The spark of learning has been ignited in these students. Ninety-thousand students have participated in the 49ers Museum free visits program for a full day of STEM education.”
A Quarter Century of Service to Young People
The Pasta Bowl also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the 49ers Foundation. Under the direction of its energetic Executive Director Joanne Pasternak, the Foundation has donated about $35 million to Bay Area non-profits since its founding – roughly $15 million over the last four years, according to IRS filings.
The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute education programs earned the football franchise a 2015 Sport Team of the Year award from Beyond Sport and nomination for ESPN’s 2016 Sports Humanitarian Team of the Year award.
Partnering with Chevron and Silicon Valley Education Foundation, the 49ers donated $1 million to help the Santa Clara Unified build and launch the STEM Leadership Institute at Cabrillo Middle School. In addition, for nearly 20 years the 49ers Foundation has been a primary supporter of the San Francisco 49ers Academy – an East Palo Alto school that aims to bridge the opportunity gap through in-school and after school programs.
Bay Area non-profits the 49ers Foundation supports include the Mission City Community Fund, Santa Clara PAL, Santa Clara Schools Foundation, Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, Eastside College Prep, Inn Vision Shelter Network and the Silicon Valley Education Foundation.
In his closing remarks at the Pasta Bowl, SVLG CEO Carl Guardino spoke about the importance of active engagement in addressing community challenges.
“We don’t need another audience, we need an army,” Guardino said. “An audience watches. An army is involved. The 49ers are an army. The 49ers faithful need to be an army as well. Let’s be an army for Silicon Valley.”