The Wender Weis Foundation for Children will host its ninth annual Holiday Heroes event on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at AT&T Park, where Hunter Pence and his wife, Alexis, will be honored with the Inspiration Award.
The honor is presented to athletes who have used their sports platform to make a difference in the lives of underserved children in the Bay Area.
Past recipients of the sixth annual award have included Barry Bonds (2017), Jonny Moseley and Natalie Coughlin (2016), Krisiti Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican (2015), Brandi Chastain and Brent Jones (2014), and Jennifer and Joe Montana (2013).
"Our hearts have always tugged toward children’s causes because seeing children happy brings out the little kid in us," Alexis Pence told NBC Sports Bay Area's Jessica Kleinschmidt. "Over the years, whenever we’ve heard about children dealing with unfortunate situations, our first instinct is what can we do to help?
"Whether it’s helping to make a lifelong wish come true or helping fill an empty stomach so kids can enjoy their school day, Hunter and I will always look for ways to make a special impact in the lives of children. They are our future, and we want the best for them."
The WWFC is in its 24th year of helping kids by supporting programs that boost self-esteem and foster self-confidence through sports, health and education.
"Each December we take over AT&T Park for one night and turn it into a holiday wonderland. We partner with the sports teams, companies and philanthropists, and connect at-risk children with professional athletes,” Amy Wender-Hoch, founder of Wender Weis Foundation for Children, said in a statement. “We create experiences that provide hope, direction and the ability to dream big. We expect to host 1,500 attendees with more than 400 underserved children and their families to a Holiday Heroes night they will never forget.”
The day will be filled with meet-and-greets with local athletes, including Pence, Raiders offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele and 49ers defensive end Solomon Thomas. Among others attending will be 49ers alums Ricky Watters and Ian Williams, and Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski.
There also will be holiday arts and crafts, including a "stuff your own stuffed bear" toy, face painting, cookie decorating, a teen lounge for kids ages 11 to 17, story time with Giants reporter Amy G, photo trading cards and arcade games. There also will be a chance for full access to the Giants' batting tunnels, the dugout and even a chance to run the bases.
“Holiday Heroes is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it gives us the opportunity to help children who are in need all year long,” Wender-Hoch said in the statement. "With the funds raised over the years, we’ve been able to donate $2 million to non-profits we support, host over 5,000 at-risk children, serve over 40,000 underserved children, and 450 professional athletes have donated their time to attend Holiday Heroes.”
Ticket packages to Holiday Heroes -- which range in price from $300 to $850, with sponsorships starting at $2,500 -- are available at wenderweis.org or by calling 650-325-5302.