San Francisco 49er Running Back Frank Gore and Recording Stars Pia Toscano & Andy Grammer show their support for Autism Speaks
On November 29th San Francisco 49er Running Back Frank Gore and recording artists Pia Toscano & Andy Grammer participated in a holiday tree lighting at San Francisco’s famed 555 California Street. The free event was open to the public and benefitted Autism Speaks.
The tree lighting was hosted by Vornado Realty Trust, a New York-based real estate investment trust (REIT) and one of the largest owners of commercial properties in the United States.
The event featured musical performances from Pia Toscano and Andy Grammer. Toscano is best known as being a strong finalist in the tenth season of American Idol. Grammer’s debut album was released in June of this year, featuring pop hit “Keep Your Head Up”. The ceremony also included family holiday entertainment from the Dick Bright Orchestra.
Frank Gore, along with a family involved with Autism Speaks, lit the tree and tossed autographed footballs into the holiday crowd.
In order to help raise awareness and funding for Autism Speaks, 16 trees lining California Street are available for sponsorship for the duration of the holiday season. The trees will be lit blue in honor of autism awareness and will offer a branded area for generous sponsors. This year’s leading sponsors include: LRG Capital, Commonwealth Title and Fried Frank. Also, the event inaugurated a virtual fundraising tree and event website www.555treelighting.com. A donation of $250 or more will receive a set of personalized holiday greeting cards from Autism Speaks and those donating $500 or more will receive the card set and their name listed on a plaque on one of the trees lining California Street during the holidays.
The annual 555 California Street tree lighting is a tradition that was reinstated by Vornado Realty Trust in 2007, when it acquired the iconic building. Last year the event featured Vernon Davis of the 49ers and recording artist Natasha Bedingfield. Other previous guests include Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and Gold Medalist Misty May-Treanor.
As one of San Francisco’s largest family holiday events, 555 California featured one of the tallest trees in the region.