Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

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 TNDC’s After-School Program and other support services benefiting TNDC's families and children.
Daly's dunking netted $18,500.
Photos by Adam Aufdencamp

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 services.

Chip Conley

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 pool.

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".

Cynthia Bowman

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

TNDC's 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?




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa