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Parties: Winning Big

by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

Hot pink and orange team towels draped 800 chairs on May 12 at Pier 48 for Tipping Point Community’s rallythemed benefit. Designer Stanlee Gatti transformed the cavernous shed into a football field — replete with Astroturf, the Cal Marching Band and stadium seating set with a McCalls tailgate-style fried chicken feast.

The final score? Revelers raised a whopping $24.8 million for Tipping Point’s 50 poverty-fighting grantees. Post-dinner, 200 more guests landed, grooving to a spirited performance by Chance the Rapper.

On “field,” Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon, with her team captains — among them, former Giants Barry Bonds and Hunter Pence, 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner, pro wrestler–drag performer Pollo Del Mar — rallied tech titans and philanthropists to drive more dollars across the goalpost, helping to fund Tipping Point’s social equity programs. Their long game includes uplifting foster youth as well as supporting early education, living wages and affordable housing, such as Tipping Point’s 145-unit project at 833 Bryant Street and a new $12 million unhoused youth partnership with Visa Foundation.

Thanks to coaches like Tipping Point founder and board chairman Daniel Lurie and CEO Sam Cobbs — along with a dream team of nonprofits, civic leaders and board members (including Ronnie Lott, Kate Harbin Clammer, David Dolby, Katie Schwab Paige, Gregg Perloff, Alec Perkins), the latter group paying all Tipping Point operating costs so that every dollar raised goes back out the door — more than 100,000 people received assistance in 2021.

“In a region as wealthy and innovative as ours, the Bay Area is at a crossroads. And people are angry,” intoned Lurie. “When I founded Tipping Point 17 years ago, I was a bit naive. But today politicians and policy makers call us. Lasting change goes beyond direct services. We must attack policies and confront the connection between race and poverty.”

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