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

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 “Power of Dreams” theme to empower more individuals with physical disabilities. The evening highlighted how CAF impacts lives in the Bay Area by funding grants, hosting adaptive sports camps and clinics, and creating an inclusive community.


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

Press release by: Christy Fritts

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.”

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.

Over 50 local athletes and their families including CAF grant recipients Garnett Silver-Hall, and Breezy Bochenek, Paralympic hopefuls Mia Emory and Kelly Worrell, and CAF athletes Samuel Nehemiah, Carlos Moleda, Lana Aronis, and Rudy Garcia Tolson 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, supported by partnerships with organizations like the Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Giants, has significantly broadened its impact, enabling a wide range of adaptive sports programs. The funds raised are crucial for meeting the increasing number of grant requests and creating opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities, both in the NorCal region and around the globe.