49ers, Seahawks Matchup Sparks a Greater Competition

Fans, Teams are Donating Funds for their Rival City’s Children’s Hospitals

This Sunday’s matchup of the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will put West Coast bragging rights and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. But thanks to fans and players whose hearts extend to children in their rivals’ cities, kids at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and Seattle Children’s Hospital will be the true winners -- whichever way the game goes.

A rivalry between the two football teams has resulted in a competition in which fans and players for both teams are raising money for their rival’s premier children’s hospitals. So far, their efforts have resulted in pledges totaling nearly $30,000 for UCSF and more than $17,000 for Seattle Children’s.

49ers offensive linemen Daniel Kilgore, left, and Leonard Davis visited with J.J.

Thompson and his mother at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

The fundraising competition heated up quickly when an anonymous 49ers fan pledged to match the money raised for both hospitals -- up to $100,000 each -- for a total of $200,000.

Now, both the 49ers and the Seahawks have agreed to match everything that is raised this week, through Sunday’s game, on each of the fundraising pages up to a total of $100,000 from the 49ers, and $112,000 from the Seahawks. 

The good-hearted rivalry kicked off in December, when a group of 49ers fans, led by project manager Aasheesh Shravah, raised enough money to purchase a tongue-in-cheek billboard taunting their rivals in the Seattle area. The group needed $7,000 for the billboard; any extra donations they pledged to a Seattle-based charity. 49ers fans overwhelmingly chose Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation as their charity of choice.

Soon thereafter, Seahawks fan Christopher Hart launched the effort to raise money for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Hart set up his own funding site to benefit the San Francisco hospital, and donations began pouring in for both hospitals.

"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.”

The money benefiting UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will go toward the construction of its new, freestanding hospital, which is set to open in early 2015. Seattle Children’s will likely use its donation to bolster the hospital’s uncompensated care fund.

“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."

“It’s been great,” said Shravah, who purchased the billboard ad. “We would love to be able to donate double what we spent on the billboard to the Seattle Children’s Hospital.”

If you would like to make a donation to one of the sites, please visit:

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

Seattle Billboard Fund