49ers, School of Social Welfare Team Up To Fight Child Poverty





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SAN FRANCISCO-A fundraising event organized by the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the San Francisco 49ers raised more than half a million dollars for abused children last Thursday.

At the Westin St. Francis Hotel, the benefit attracted 450 attendees at $1,500 per person, and bidding for a silent auction that included a ski trip with the 49ers started at $2,000. Also sponsored by Hedge Fund Cares, the event was attended by members of the hedge fund industry, an industry of big-time investors.

First-round draft pick and former Cal Bears football star Andre Carter was on hand representing the 49ers and said he was glad to help the good cause.

The benefit was a success, said Rob Davis, founder of Hedge Funds Care.

The money will be distributed to local child welfare groups by the San Francisco 49ers Foundation based on recommendations from an executive committee and Bart Grossman, a UC Berkeley social welfare professor.

UC Berkeley's involvement will be integral to successful distribution of the money to innovative and progressive programs. It will also be a boon for the School of Social Welfare, said Assemblymember Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley, who attended the event.

"The foundation is going to have an impact statewide because of its relationship with UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare. You're going to see a lot of ideas coming out of (the school)," Aroner said.

The money will provide students at the school with new opportunities for involvement in the local child welfare community through internships.

Aroner said the collaboration will attract more students and professors to the school and increase the flow of innovative ideas.

"If (Hedge Funds Care) continues to give, (the school) is going to continue to grow," Aroner said.

The school was approached by Dara Schwartz, dean of Columbia's School of Social Welfare, who saw the school as "an ideal partner for the charity," Grossman said.

"(Hedge Funds Care) was looking for some help giving their money to reputable local organizations," he said. "It seems like there's a genuine commitment here to do some good." California currently has one of the largest child welfare systems in the world and the world's largest population of foster home children, according to, Aroner said. She also said California is in dire need of innovative solutions to child abuse.

Schwartz helped Hedge Funds Care distribute money from its flagship event in New York City. They have handed out more than $4 million over the past four years.

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