When Bremerton resident and Seahawks fan Christopher Hart set out to challenge the 49er faithful to raise money for kids fighting cancer, $20,000 was, in his words, “reaching for the stars.”
Safe to say the charitable effort, which ended Monday following the Seahawks’ 43-8 romp of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48, exceeded even his wildest expectations.
When the dust cleared in a fundraising battle for children’s hospitals in San Francisco and Seattle, Hart and friend Aaron Managhan had orchestrated a campaign that raised $365,360. That includes promises to match whatever’s raised from both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks organization. (The ‘Hawks, of course, pledged to match $112,000 to however much was raised.)
Hart, a former Kitsap Sun employee and a close friend, is beyond elated, he told me.
“I feel freaking fantastic,” Hart said. “But guess who’s really wining? The kids. I think whether you are a Hawks fan, or a Niners fan, we can all celebrate a victory against pediatric cancer.”
Hart took to the fundraising site Monday to share news of the totals:
“We raised $77,187 on the site alone. With the matches and extra donations that puts us at a grand total of $365,360. $283,173 going to (University of California San Francisco) and $82,187 going to (Seattle Children’s Hospital). I was informed by GoFundMe today that we may be their biggest charity effort to date.”
There were many exhilarating moments along the way. Hart and Managhan were invited to the NFC Championship game (see photo) by a donor who wouldn’t take no for an answer, and, let’s put it this way: it’s not every day that you get a shout out from Paul Allen on Twitter. But that’s exactly what Hart earned along the way.