What a journey! It has been a blessing to host 10 “Where’s Streater? Catch Him Here, There and Everywhere” events in the Bay Area. Every adventure was unique and I will maintain the many friendships that I have made at each of our stops. You have inspired me with your personal stories of strength, courage and hope. It’s been a journey of a lifetime and I want to thank you. The fans and friends that I have met in the Bay Area will always hold a special place in my heart for the. Here are just a few of my favorite memories…
- Launching the foundation at the Cabot Space and Science Museum where students from Oakland’s Roots International School joined me as we became crew members and took part in a simulated space mission. We landed a spacecraft on Mars and had some frightening moments as we returned back to Earth, safely!
- Sharing our next experience at the San Francisco Zoo with the children and families from the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. To give these families a break from the hospital and to hear their stories and be inspired by each one, was a day I will never forget. We were treated to an exclusive animal show at the Wildlife Theater where we touched many unique animals, including an African Hedgehog! I loved seeing Sierra the American Bald Eagle best of all!
- Traveling south to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and being with the students from Laurel Woods Elementary was so much fun. We learned all kinds of fascinating things, like the science of waves, and then we visited sea otters Abby, Gidget, Ivy, and Rosa, along with the octopuses, squids and jellies. My favorite was the scalloped hammerhead shark! He reminded me of those cornerbacks I face on Sundays!
- Thinking of the children who have Type 1 Diabetes and the holidays approaching, we connected with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Diabetes Clinic and the American Diabetes Association, to bring these families to Whole Foods Oakland for a hands-on Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner cooking demonstration. To top off the day, we got to make our very own healthy apple pie to take home. It was delicious!
- Visiting Disney Interactive with my CoachArt friends and families. Disney VoluntEARS gave us a tour of the gaming division, where we met the designers behind the hottest games and participated in an exclusive event featuring illustration and coding using Disney Infinity versions of Frozen characters Anna and Elsa. The children received gifts from Disney and wireless headphones from Velodyne Acoustics. It was a Magical day!
- Enjoyed the coolest bowling alley ever, Lucky Strike in downtown San Francisco, with teenagers from the Willie Mays Clubhouse at Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Spending the afternoon bowling with a group of teenagers is something everyone should do. They were chosen for their academic achievement and I can see why! I was impressed with each of them.We bowled, ate lunch, danced to the music, laughed, threw STRIKES, and had tons of fun!
- Headed north and landed in Santa Rosa, CA at the Charles M. Schultz Museum. We took turns pulling the football away from each of the students from Roseland Leadership Academy, just as Lucy did to Charlie Brown. The highlight was the Character Creation Animation Workshop. We made our very own stop-motion computer animation. It was so cool to learn the process of animation. Add this museum to your bucket list!
- Loving everything Disney, we made visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum a priority for “Where’s Streater?” We invited children from the Berkeley Arts Magnet School, knowing they share the same passion for art that I do. We toured the galleries and discovered how Walt Disney used special effects to make animation more interesting and realistic. We even got to use a multiplane camera to create our own digital short films. Does it get any better than this?
- Living right here in the middle of the tech world, I knew Where’s Streater had to make a journey to Silicon Valley to visit the Tech Museum of Innovation. Students from P.A. Walsh STEAM Academy, a Tech Academy of Innovation joined me as we toured all of the interactive exhibits. The highlight was when we got to design, build and program a REAL robot using sensors, controllers and actuators. It was fascinating to watch these kids make it all work!
- Concluded our exploration in the Bay Area at the Super Bowl 50 NFL Experience with CoachArt. These families, especially Michael who I have mentored for the last 18 months, have daily challenges. But for this day, it was about having fun and experiencing the greatest game, the NFL. Our kids met Chiefs All-Pro safety Eric Berry, who overcame Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and returned in six months to have a Pro Bowl season. What an Inspiration!!
I would be remiss if I didn’t do a shout out to “Team Streater,” my teammates who joined me as we continue Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and to the American Cancer Society for being there when I needed you the most! To CoachArt, and especially Michael and his family. I love you. Don’t ever give up, inspire others and always have fun!
None of this would be possible without the help and support of the many people working diligently behind the scenes at each of these venues and charitable organizations. You made these events happen on the foundation’s behalf and created an experience that I hope the children will always remember fondly. A heartfelt thank you to the Oakland Raiders who gave me the opportunity and the encouragement to give back to my community, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for their guidance and expertise in the charitable world, and to Vic Valbuerna Bareng who joined our team and helped tell our story through his photographs and videos. To all of you, I will be forever grateful and hope that our “routes” will cross again.