Niner, Seahawk Fans Turn Rivalry Into Children’s Hospital Fundraiser

by Bill Disbrow

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – What started as a prank war between San Francisco 49ers fans and Seattle Seahawks backers is now a big moneymaker for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Supporters of the NFC rivals have traded good-natured stunts in recent months to show support for respective teams. Seattle fans bought a personalized brick outside of the new Levi’s Stadium, and raised money online to fly a ‘Go Seahawks’ banner over Candlestick Park prior to the most recent matchup between the Western Division foes. Niner nation responded by holding a similar campaign to put up a billboard in Seattle reminding football fans of their championship pedigree. The excess money from that campaign was reportedly donated to a Seattle-area children’s hospital.

In response, another online fundraiser on the website GoFundMe has been created with the goal of collecting $20,000 for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. According to postings by creator Christopher Heart, the money is being matched by an anonymous 49er fan who is giving to both UCSF and Seattle Children’s hospital.

As of Tuesday morning, the “Hawk Fans for UCSF Children’s Hospital” campaign had been shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook, and was more than three quarters of the way to the original funding goal. Originally a Seahawks fan movement, the campaign was pulling in comments (and apparently cash) from backers of both squads.

“We haven’t set an end date for this campaign yet, but are toying with the idea of ending it when the Seahawks season ends,” wrote Heart.

If both teams win this weekend, they will have a third showdown in Seattle, with the NFC title and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

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