Challenged Athletes Foundation Raises over $800,000 at the Celebration of Heart Gala to Empower Next Generation of Athletes with Physical Disabilities

A Night to Remember at Pier 27 Shows the Extraordinary Power of Dreams

San Francisco, CA, June 04, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) raised over $800,000 at its annual Celebration of Heart event on Friday, May 31 at Pier 27 in downtown San Francisco. The heart-filled evening united the Bay Area community to celebrate local CAF athletes. More than 400 Bay Area attendees across sports, technology, business, and philanthropy embraced the night's theme “Power of Dreams” to empower more individual with physical disabilities. The evening highlighted ways CAF is impacting lives in the Bay Area by funding grants, hosting adaptive sports camps and clinics, and creating an inclusive community. Since 1994, CAF has raised $178 million and funded over 48,000 grants to athletes of all ages and abilities, in all 50 states and 73 countries.

San Francisco’s Pier 27 provided the perfect setting for an evening of dining, dancing, connection, and community. Attendees had the opportunity to meet athletes, learn their stories and feel their passion. The event demonstrated how CAF opens a world of opportunities to those with physical disabilities, cultivating communities through programs, mentorship, and coaching; funding the equipment that makes participation possible; and, most importantly, providing support for all athletes with physical disabilities.

The heartfelt program was led by event co-chairs Kristin Roth DeClark & Karl Peterson, Allison Caccoma & Alan Shanken and Lotte Toftdahl & Ryan Goldman, whose dedication, passion, generosity and philanthropic spirit shined a spotlight on their deep connection to sport and the Bay Area community. Kristin Roth DeClark emphasized, “The benefits of participating in sports are endless. Empowering individual lives through CAF’s mission here in the Bay Area by providing grants and building programs that support athletes year-round is essential.”

Over 50 local athletes and their families including CAF grant recipients Garnett Silver-Hall, Breezy Bochenek, and Paralympic hopefuls Mia Emory and Kelly Worrell took the stage to share the positive impact CAF has played in making their athletic dreams come true.

Featured athlete, Garnett Silver-Hall’s journey to adaptive athletics started when he was around 10 years old. Born with arthrogryposis, he started out playing sled hockey and then became a multi-sport athlete also competing in wheelchair basketball and WCMX. Throughout high school, Garnett’s wheelchair basketball team placed seventh in the country, his sled hockey team won a national championship, and he won the World Championship title for WCMX. Garnett Silver Hall currently plays wheelchair basketball at University of Arizona and will be the first in his family to is graduate this fall with a degree in Music.

CAF's expansion in Northern California has been bolstered by partnerships with top-tier organizations, including the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Giants. These collaborations have amplified CAF's reach and impact, allowing for a variety of adaptive sports programs. Notably, the esteemed Olympic Club hosts adaptive golf clinics, while Lake Tahoe serves as the venue for exhilarating ski clinics. Additionally, CAF offers diverse activities such as hiking, swimming, sailing, and cycling, ensuring that the disability community has access to a wide range of sporting opportunities. These partnerships underscore CAF's commitment to fostering an inclusive and active lifestyle for individuals with physical disabilities throughout Northern California.

There is still time to donate to the event to support challenged athletes in the Bay Area and beyond, click HERE to make a contribution to CAF and its programs.

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About Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) stands as a global leader in empowering individuals with physical disabilities to embrace vibrant, active lives. CAF firmly believes that engaging in physical activity fosters self-esteem, encourages independence, and enriches the quality of life. For three transformative decades, CAF has been at the forefront of the adaptive sports movement, catalyzing change, and redefining possibilities. Since its inception in 1994, CAF has raised over $178 million and fulfilled 48,000 funding requests from people with physical disabilities across all 50 states and more than 73 countries, impacting another 60,000 individuals annually through its outreach efforts. From providing essential equipment like handcycles to offering mentorship and encouragement, CAF's mission is clear: to provide opportunities and support to those who aspire to lead active, athletic lifestyles. To learn more, please visit


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A Night to Remember at Pier 27 Shows the Extraordinary Power of Dreams