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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Wender Weis Foundation for Children Brings Bay Area Professional Athletes to AT&T Park for Eighth Annual Holiday Heroes Extravaganza

Olympic Gold Medalists, San Francisco 49ers, San Francisco Giants, San Jose Earthquakes and Other Bay Area Sports “Heroes” Gather to Raise Funds for Local Children’s Charities that Inspire Youth to Reach for Their Dreams

Press Release – SAN FRANCISCO (November 13, 2017) – The Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC) is bringing your favorite Bay Area sports stars to AT&T Park for the eighth annual Holiday Heroes fundraiser on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. Now in its twenty-third year of funding innovative programs for underserved children in the areas of sports, arts, and children’s health, WWFC has announced a preliminary line-up of Bay Area athletes for this year’s event, promising a magical night of holiday cheer for San Francisco Bay Area families and children.

Current and former Bay Area athletes – including San Francisco Giants Legend & Home Run King Barry Bonds, Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, San Francisco 49er players and alums Joe Staley, Solomon Thomas, Eric Heitmann and Dennis Brown, Warriors alum Adonal Foyle, San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson and more to be announced closer to the event – are scheduled to attend Holiday Heroes, as well as Bay Area team mascots Lou Seal (San Francisco Giants), Sourdough Sam (San Francisco 49ers), Stomper (Oakland A’s) and the San Francisco 49er Gold Rush cheerleaders. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. A special VIP reception including field access will begin at 4:30 p.m.

At Holiday Heroes, guests enjoy an exclusive opportunity to meet local athletes while experiencing a holiday celebration featuring children’s games, activities, a silent auction, and behind-the-scenes admittance to AT&T Park – home of three-time World Series Champions the San Francisco Giants. Attendees will enjoy rare access to the San Francisco Giants’ dugout and batting cages, ballpark fare, beverages, and activities such as holiday cookie decorating, teddy bear stuffing, face painting, and photo/video booths. VIP ticket holders will receive early entry to the batting cages and dugouts, make s’mores on the field, and enjoy beverages and appetizers. All are welcome to participate in story time with Amy “G” Gutierrez in the “Reading Corner.” This year, Holiday Heroes will also feature a Teen Hangout exclusively for guests ages 11 to 15 featuring music, activities and food. During the VIP reception, guests can also enjoy special performances by cast members from Disney’s Aladdin and Broadway actress Jenn Gambastese from School of Rock.

“We are so grateful to all of the athletes who participate in Holiday Heroes, helping to make it our biggest fundraising event of the year,” said Amy Wender-Hoch, WWFC founder. “Our goal at Wender Weis Foundation for Children is to inspire children to reach for their dreams and few things are more inspiring to children than meeting their heroes. The money this event generates directly supports programs that help at-risk kids reach their full potential.”

Established in 1994, WWFC has generously donated to several Bay Area organizations that provide support and services to children in need, including UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, Warriors Community Foundation, Giants Community Fund, the 49ers Foundation and Safe and Sound.

In addition to its extraordinary support of Bay Area kids, WWFC has designed Holiday Heroes to be an unforgettable holiday celebration for attendees, including children who attend as guests of the foundation. Due to the success of Holiday Heroes over the years, WWFC has been able to host more than 5,000 at-risk children – ranging from four to fifteen years of age – at this special event. Many have called the event the highlight of their year and continue to comment that they feel encouraged, inspired and special when mingling with their favorite sports idols. For some of the children, this will be their only holiday celebration, and the gift bags will be their only holiday presents. Of the 700 children expected to attend this year’s event, 300 children are sponsored by the foundation. Additionally, WWFC plans to host two hundred children who have been displaced and affected by the recent North Bay fires.

This year’s event will include a special presentation of WWFC’s fifth annual Inspiration Award to San Francisco Giants Legend & Home Run King Barry Bonds, recognizing the positive impact he has made on Bay Area children and youth. Jonny Moseley and Natalie Coughlin, Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican, Joe and Jennifer Montana, Brandi Chastain, and Brent Jones are previous recipients of the WWFC Inspiration Award. The award is generously sponsored by Level Construction Supply in conjunction with Tiffany & Co. San Francisco.

The cost to attend Holiday Heroes is $175 to $450 for tickets to the main reception; $300 to $850 for tickets at the VIP Hero level; and $2,750 to $50,000 for Major Sponsor level. A $250 donation sponsors one child and a chaperone from one of WWFC’s benefitting children’s organizations, while a $1,000 donation sponsors two at-risk families from WWFC’s benefiting organizations. A $2,500 donation sponsors a beneficiary organization including round-trip transportation. Proceeds for this year’s Holiday Heroes will benefit Giants Community Fund, Warriors Community Foundation, 49ers Foundation, UCSF Children’s Hospital, Barry Bonds Family Foundation, Do It for the Love Foundation and Fit Kids.

WWFC is also proudly donating proceeds from the event to the Giants Community Fund for the 21st straight year. Sponsored children will attend from the aforementioned charities plus Holy Family Day Home, Family House, 49ers Academy Raphael House and Safe and Sound. Tickets are available for purchase at or by calling (650) 325-5302.

Holiday Heroes 2017 Event Chairpersons are Marie Hurabiell and Mainul Mondal, and Michelle and Jody Harris. Holiday Heroes is sponsored, in part, by TIBCO Software and Level Construction Supply.

About Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC)

Wender Weis Foundation for Children funds innovative programs for underserved children in the areas of sports, the arts, and health.

Wender Weis Foundation for Children (WWFC) provides at-risk children with unique, event-based experiences that offer a break from their daily routine, create a sense of magic, wonder and joy, and open their eyes to the hope and possibilities in their own lives. We donate proceeds from our fundraising efforts to various outreach programs which provide children with opportunities to build their confidence and grow their self-esteem.

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