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NFL Health Update: 49ers charity pledges $2M to STEM program


San Francisco 49ers Foundation pledges $2 million to new 49ers STEM Leadership Institute

The 49ers Foundation recently hosted the team's 14th annual fundraising event, raising $2 million to support the Foundation's mission to keep kids "Safe, On Track and In School." The event, which had nearly 600 attendees, was hosted by 49ers ownership, coaching staff, current players, 49ers legends and executives. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh participated in a coaching Chalk Talk session, while General Manager Trent Baalke led attendees in a game of broomball. 49ers Alumni, including Dwight Clark, Keena Turner, Guy McIntyre, Gene Washington and Brent Jones, hosted a Fireside Chat, and current players such as Eric Reid, Bruce Miller, CJ Spillman and Kevin McDermott participated in activities throughout the weekend.

In addition, 49ers Chairman and Co-Owner John York announced that the 49ers Foundation is launching a 49ers STEM Leadership Institute at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara. To support the launch, the Foundation announced a $2 million donation. The vision of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, established in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District, is to build science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders of the future.

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Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association officially endorses Heads Up Football

The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) announced this week that it has officially endorsed USA Football's Heads Up Football Program.

The MPSSAA represents 24 school systems comprised of 187 high schools and becomes the first state high school athletic association to endorse Heads Up. The American College of Sports Medicine, National Athletic Trainers' Association, National Federation of State High School Associations and more than two dozen other leading organizations have also endorsed the program.

The partnership will be officially announced during a press conference scheduled for next week at the Maryland State Department of Education.

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Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and owner Dan Snyder provide field grant

The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation recently donated $100,000 to Park View High School in Loudoun County, Va., to help the school transform their existing field to a multi-sport, synthetic turf field.

In addition to the Redskins' donation, $100,000 was funded by the NFL Grassroots Field Grant Program.

Through this grant, Park View will become the first high school on the eastern end of Loudoun County with a synthetic field, which will improve the playing conditions for high school and youth sports and increase the number of playable days on the field.

"Working together and having this opportunity for Park View is something special," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said. "When we see the final completion, we want to make sure you all come out and see it, because it ends up being something so dramatic and so touching to the kids, and it's all about the kids in the end."

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Mercy General Hospital opens new $170 million Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center

Sacramento's Mercy General Hospital recently opened its new Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center, providing state-of-the art technology and patient-centered cardiovascular care for Northern California.

The new 123,000-square-foot facility, named after San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos' father, Alex, will feature cutting-edge operating rooms, a modernized intensive care unit and an expanded rehabilitation center. In 2000, Alex G. Spanos underwent a heart procedure at Mercy General and later pledged $15 million to the hospital.

"Having the Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center in our region benefits everybody, providing local access to a world-renowned cardiovascular team and state-of-the-art facility," said Dean Spanos.

In all, more than 500 donors have supported the project, contributing $22.8 million in charitable gifts through the Mercy Foundation.

Atlanta Falcons host second Moms Football Safety Clinic

More than 100 Atlanta-area mothers attended a Falcons Moms Safety Football Clinic at Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, Ga., last week. The event was the second Moms Clinic that the team has hosted this year.

The event focused on proper equipment fit, tackling techniques and concussion awareness as well as a variety of other football-related skills sessions as part of Heads Up Football. USA Football Master Trainer Buddy Curry led the clinic for the Falcons with current and former Falcons players. Stephanie Douglas, mother of wide receiver Harry Douglas, and Melissa Bryant, wife of kicker Matt Bryant, participated in a Q&A with the moms in attendance.

Team neurosurgeon Dr. Kaveh Khajavi spoke about concussion signs and symptoms and representatives from Riddell gave the attendees a demonstration on proper equipment fit.

"I am a single mom and I have no idea how to fit his uniform, his helmet, his pads," said Stephanie Rodriguez, who attended the event. "All I know is that we love football. It was very necessary for me to come as a mother to make sure my child is going to be safe when playing."

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Cardinals host spring tailgate party for fans at University of Phoenix Stadium

The Arizona Cardinals kicked off the Big Red Rib & Music Festival at University of Phoenix Stadium last week by hosting a free tailgate and live television special with fans in the studio audience.

Cardinals team president Michael Bidwill, along with head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim, recapped the offseason and looked ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft, training camp and 2014 season.

-- NFL Communications

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