Prior to stepping onto the gridiron, San Francisco 49ers players, management, coaches and Silicon Valley executives stepped out of their usual gear, donning aprons and serving as celebrity waiters for Pasta Bowl VIII at Levi’s Stadium on July 23.
Kicking aside cleats and pads and the seriousness of NFL competition, fun, excitement and pride were in the air, with players and management laughing, mingling and enjoying a lavish dinner with some of the biggest 49ers supporters.
Attendees – mostly sponsors and executives – took photos with players at the charity dinner, presented by SAP in cooperation with Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The intimate evening culminated with three $75,000 check presentations by the 49ers Foundation to three local non-profit organizations – City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley (http://www.cityyear.org/sanjose.aspx), Fresh Lifelines For Youth (http://flyprogram.org/) and the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute.
“This is not only the start of football season, but it’s also the start of our philanthropic season,” said JoAnne Pasternack, 49ers Director, Community Relations & 49ers Foundation.
The sold-out event featured many alterations from prior incarnations, with the eighth annual event happening in the confines of the team’s new $1.2 billion home. In year’s past, the event was held at the Santa Clara Convention center.
49ers’ defensive line coach Jim Tomsula said it says a lot about the 49ers organization that the entire team and management hosts a fundraiser dinner with fans. “This event speaks volumes of the ownership and management of the 49ers.”
Centerplate, the stadium concessionaire created a slightly different menu, including caprese salad sticks (mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, olive tapenade, arugula and basil), penne pomodoro (pasta with basil, garlic, tomato sauce and extra virgin olive oil, topped with truffle and Mary’s garlic roasted chicken) and an Italian dessert trio of cannoli, chocolate dipped apricots and tiramisu.
The event also included a reception, with wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres, silent raffle, appearances by Sourdough Sam, Gold Rush Cheerleaders, Niners Noise and several 49ers alumni including Dwight Clark, Guy McIntyre, Keena Turner and Steve Bono.
Another highlight for guests was a VIP photo opportunity on the 50-yard-line. Jennifer Montana Designs (www.jennifermontanadesigns.com) sold necklaces and key chains with proceeds benefiting the 49ers Foundation. Guests were also able to view an exclusive sneak peak of some of the artifacts on display in the 49ers Museum.
Vintners included Aloft, BRYTER estates, JAX Vineyards, Martinelli Winery, Mira Winery, Rarecat Winery, Sbragia Family Vineyards, Signorello Estate, The Vineyardist and Trefethen.
Sponsors included presenting sponsor SAP, reception sponsor NRG, BlackRock, Chevron, DevCon, Mary Ellen and Michael Fox Family Foundation, M.E. Fox & Company, Future Energy Savers, Gordon Biersch, Kaiser Permanente, Levi’s, Nelson, SanDisk, Turner, US Bank, Bothman Construction, Citrix, Franklin Templeton Investments, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Silicon Valley Bank, Verizon and United Healthcare. Silent raffle donors included Children’s Discovery Museum, California’s Great America, Levi’s, Michael Mina, Pizza Party, 49ers, San Francisco Zoo, Santana Row and SAP.
The 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers. The foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them safe, on track and in school. The foundation has donated over $22 million to local non-profit organizations. Visit www.49ers.com/community/foundation.html for more information.