Jan 19 2014, 4:33pm CST | by Forbes
The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will battle it out today in the Upper Northwest for a chance to represent the National Football Conference (NFC) in Super Bowl XLVIII. Yet, based on what has been transpiring off the field between the two organizations and its fans, there will not actually be a real winner and loser. Instead, everybody wins.
This past December, a group of 49ers fans decided to purchase a billboard taunting their rivals in the Seattle area. The fans agreed that any extra donations that surpassed the $7,000 needed for the billboard would be pledged to the Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. When word spread of the organizors’ goodwill, Seahawks fans launched a similar campaign to raise money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. As a result, donations and contributions started pouring in for both charities in an effort to support children in their rivals’ cities.
“Communities strengthen children’s hospitals and we are thrilled that both the Seattle and Bay Area communities are taking this friendly competition and helping us to build San Francisco’s new free standing children’s hospital,” said Kim Scurr, Executive Director of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. ”Donations like these are what help us build the spaces and programs that will enhance the patient and family experience at the new location of our children’s hospital.”
The money benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will go toward the construction of its new, freestanding hospital, which is set to open early next year. Seattle Children’s Hospital will use the donated money to strengthen its uncompensated care fund that provides services to patients who do not have health care insurance and cannot afford to pay.
“The energy surrounding this friendly rivalry has been amazing,” said Eve Kopp, Development Director at Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. ”It is heartwarming to know that both teams and fans in both cities are joining forces in support of sick and injured kids. Everybody wins.”
Recently, the San Francisco 49ers organization pledged to match up to $100,000 that would benefit both hospitals, while the Seattle Seahawks pledged to match $112,000. To date, Seahawks fans have raised roughly $70,000, and 49ers fans’ contributions total approximately $28,000.
“This is all about champions playing for the love of others,” said Ronnie Lott, a 49er legend and long-time UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital supporter. ”Champions come in all shapes, sizes and colors. But what drives us all is the desire to go beyond the call of duty, to extend ourselves each and every day. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital does just that — going beyond the norm, healing others when some hospitals might turn their backs. We are proud to be a part of that, and all the little things people do there to reach out.”
Darren Heitner is a Partner at Wolfe Law Miami, P.A. in Miami, Florida, Founder of Sports Agent Blog, and Professor of Sport Agency Management at Indiana University. Learn more about him at http://www.darrenheitner.com.
This article included contributions by Mark J. Burns.
Source: Forbes Business
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