SF 49er Patrick Willis Chairs YouthLive! Event to Raise Funds for Foster Youth

San Jose, Calif. – Unity Care, a non-profit agency serving foster youth and families, is proud to announce star San Francisco 49er linebacker Patrick Willis as Honorary Event Chair for the agency’s YouthLive! gala on May 11, 2013.

Willis’ interest in helping Unity Care comes from his personal experience as a foster youth. Born in Tennessee, Willis grew up in poverty and helped raised three of his younger siblings due to his father’s alcoholism, drug abuse and violent behavior.  As his father’s violent behavior increased, 17-year-old Patrick and his younger siblings were removed from home and placed in the care of his high school basketball coach, Chris Finley and his wife, Julie.

Now at the age of 28, Willis’ ability to overcome adversity has resulted in major career achievements as a star linebacker for the 2012 NFC Champions, San Francisco 49ers. Patrick Willis says, “I know how tough, lonely and painful it can be as a child growing up in an abusive home.  But, I also believe my past has taught me to rise above any challenge I face.  I want to help other foster children, because no one should have to go through what I went through.”

For 20 years, Unity Care has developed a reputation as a leader in providing effective and efficient care for children and families involved in Foster Care.

André Chapman, Founder and CEO of Unity Care said today “I am sincerely honored and thankful that Patrick has chosen to partner with Unity Care as we celebrate 20 years of serving our community’s most vulnerable youth. His ability to overcome a painful childhood to become a star NFL linebacker is a testament to the resiliency of so many kids who end up in foster care, by no fault of their own. He is truly an inspiration to so many children with similar experiences.”

The YouthLive! gala is set for Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Club Auto Sport, located at 521 Charcot Avenue in San Jose.  The evening features emerging bay area talent, a fashion show and fine art by foster youth. The event raises funds to support Unity Care’s community-based programs helping at-risk and foster youth.  For more information about this event, please visit www.youth-live.com.


Unity Care is a strengths-based, family-focused, and culturally proficient youth and family development agency.  Since 1993, our mission is to “provide quality youth and family programs for the purpose of creating healthier communities through lifelong partnerships.”  Unity Care in its 20th year offers innovative community-based, mental health and housing programs. For more information, visit www.unitycare.org.

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