San Francisco Pols sacrifice suits
and raise $200,000 in Celebrity Pool Toss fundraiser
Husband and wife team Chris and Sarah Daly are summarily tossed
into the pool at the Phoenix Hotel in San Francisco on Tuesday
to help raise funds for TNDCs After-School Program and other
support services benefiting TNDC's families and children.
Daly's dunking netted $18,500.
Photos by Adam Aufdencamp
October 19, 2006
Chip Conley, Founder and CEO of Joie
de Vivre, started the Celebrity Pool Toss in 1993 raising
$1000 with his initial dip in the Phoenix pool to benefit the
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC),
a private non-profit providing affordable housing and residential
Fourteen years later, last night's event raised just over $200,000
through a combination of ticket sales, the pool toss auction and
event sponsors. The privilege of tossing your personally favored
(or possibly reviled) local celebrity leads to bids of several
thousand dollars per toss from the well-heeled attendees.
This years high water mark for the pool toss auction was set
by the Kelley brothers (Bruce, Tom and Rich) raising $19,500 with
their collective dive.
San Francisco City Supervisor Chris Daly followed closely at
$18,500. Aside from being an also-ran in the contest to raise
the most money in the pool toss, Daly would have easily been anointed
with the crown of most demure pool entry costume. Full suit and
tie, socks and shoes right down to eyeglasses as he entered the
On exit though, the eyeglasses were not in hand. Fortunately
a helpful "lifeguard" made a few quick dives and came
up with them on the second try.
All smiles: A wet suited and booted Chris Daly and wife, Sarah,
resurface from their charity benefiting pool dunking.
Yes there were cheerleaders. Yes there were bare chested NFL
players. No you will not be titillated with images of them! The
Pool Toss could easily be noted as an entertaining party just
for the famous and fabulously wealthy. Just another photo opportunity.
On the surface to be just another excuse for the wealthy and privileged
to party together.
Look a little deeper and the support provided by the event to
the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) provides
meaningful relief to some of the poorest of San Francisco's residents.
People living in a neighborhood that Ellen Magnin Newman (TNDC
25th Anniversary Celebration Co-Chair) noted has the TNDC "...building
low-cost housing in an area where most people wouldn't venture".
A follow-up call post event to Ken Sommer (TNDC Director of Fund
Development) shed some light on the bigger picture at TNDC. Mr.
Sommer clarified that the funds raised at the pool toss are destined
for support of their after school program. With 23 buildings under
management, nine more projects in development and approximately
2500 tenants, TNDC houses nearly 10% of the Tenderloins residents.
While many of the units are single room occupancy (SRO) units,
an increasing number of families and children are settling into
housing in the area.
Donald Falk Executive Director of TNDC
Curran House is an example of new TNDC development that is
now able to accommodate families more comfortably. At 145 Taylor
Street, Curran House has 67 units total with 24 of that total
configured as 3 bedroom units.
As a holistic provider of housing and residential services, these
3 bedroom units present the challenge of caring for children.
And it's these children and others in the neighborhood that the
after school program monies support. The drop in program generally
serves 40 to 60 children each day. With approximately 250 children
in the program, providing learning and play activities at absolutely
no cost means every dollar raised at the pool toss counts.
Despite the impressive number of children aged 5 to 17 served
by this program, the entire need of the community is not being
met. Consult the TNDC
website if you would like to volunteer or make a donation.
Mayor Gavin Newsom: Should I, or shouldn't I?