What started out as a competitive rivalry effort between Seattle Seahawks fans and San Francisco 49ers fans has snowballed into a tremendous fundraising campaign that could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars for children's hospitals.
Aaron Managhan, one of the fundraising organizers, says it all started with more typical demonstrations of fan pride, with Seahawks fans and 49ers fans raising money to get their team's logos in the other team's faces with plane banners and billboards.
San Francisco fans had come up with the idea of buying a billboard in Seattle to taunt the Seahawks. But after they'd raised enough to achieve their goal, they had extra. They decided to donate the extra money to Seattle Children's Hospital. That's when Seahawks fans decided they had to respond.
Managhan tells KIRO Radio's Dori Monson he and friend Christopher Hart decided rather than raising money for a billboard or sky message, they'd just raise donations for a San Francisco children's hospital.
"So we got in touch with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital down there, started up the fundraiser, and it has just taken off beyond anything we ever would have thought."
Currently, the Spirit of the 12th gofundme page has raised $18,000. But Managhan says they've had several offers to match whatever they can raise, including from 49ers faithful.
"One of the big developments early on, an anonymous 49ers fan agreed to donate up to $100,000, not just to Seattle Children's but also to UCSF Benioff," says Managhan. "So everything we raise, they are going to match up to $100,000 to both hospitals, so potential for up to $200,000 of their own money."
The fundraiser is now fueling both Seattle Children's Hospital and UCSF Benioff. And just this week, the 49ers decided to jump into the movement.
"The San Francisco 49ers organization is officially on board, and this week only will be matching everything we raise up to an additional $100,000 for both hospitals," says Managhan.
So for every dollar donation they receive this week, that dollar will effectively be $4 with the all the matching contributions to both hospitals, he says. All this rivalry fervor could mean some big money raised for some great hospitals.
"We're trying to kind of show these kind of rivalries can have a really positive impact, not just in our own community, but in other communities as well," says Managhan.
To donate, visit Spirit of the 12th.
MyNorthwest and KIRO Radio are not affiliated with this fundraising effort.