SANTA CLARA, Calif.
March 6, 2013
's Great America and the
49ers Foundation have joined together to raise money for the
49ers Foundation with the First Rider program. The First Rider initiative allows participants to experience Great America's latest thrill ride, Gold Striker, prior to the record setting coaster opening to the general public.
Proceeds will assist Operation Care and Comfort and youth initiatives through the 49ers Foundation.
There are two elements to the First Rider program, which is tentatively scheduled to take place
May 1, 2013
(Gold Striker's general opening will be announced soon thereafter).
Those wishing to submit an online bid can do so at
. Winning bids will receive one of Gold Striker's initial rides and access to the First Rider reception that will include members of the 49ers organization along with other celebrities.
The First Rider program also includes a Corporate Partnership opportunity. For a
donation, benefactors will experience Gold Striker's incredible thrills, corporate signage on all First Rider promotional materials and attendance at the First Rider reception.
"We are proud to partner with the 49ers Foundation to support American troops and deserving Bay Area youth," said
's Great America Vice President and General Manager
. "Gold Striker will be one of America's unique coasters and providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to assist local charities is the perfect way to launch Gold Striker."
"The 49ers Foundation is honored to be working with our
's Great America to help further enhance the offerings of our entertainment district in the heart of Silicon Valley," shared
, Executive Director of the 49ers Foundation. "With the First Rider program not only are we partnering to raise much needed funds to support at-risk youth but we are also bringing visibility to a great addition to our community – Gold Striker."
Gold Striker will feature a wooden coaster record 174-foot initial descent tunnel that will be enclosed by wood on both sides, have corrugated metal on top and in-fill underneath the tracks to replicate a true gold mine feel. The only visible light on Gold Striker's initial descent, which will hurl riders down a 50 degree slope at almost 54 miles per hour, will be following the first turn, creating a nearly pitch black visual. Gold Striker will be the tallest and fastest wooden coaster in
49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the
49ers. Now in its 21
year, the 49ers Foundation supports development programs for underserved youth that keep them, "Safe, On Track, and In School." The
49ers are promoting RESPECT for schools and community by donating a significant portion of the foundation's funding toward family violence prevention programs and activities that teach youth leadership and respect. Since 1992, the Foundation has donated nearly
to support non-profits, including
's Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN." In addition to
's Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, four water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in
under a management contract.