The mission of the Dublin-based Biletnikoff Foundation is to commemorate Tracey Biletnikoff’s life and her untimely death, and to enable young people to realize their full potential through the support of community and education programs. These programs effectively address the related problems of substance abuse and domestic violence, according to Tri-Valley native Angela Biletnikoff. Angela created the foundation with her husband, Fred Biletnikoff, an Oakland Raiders legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer.
The foundation honors the life and memory of Fred’s daughter, Tracey Biletnikoff. After a troubled youth, Tracey successfully graduated from an adult drug rehabilitation program, became a treatment counselor, and was working to raise money for a treatment program specifically for teenagers when her promising young life was cut short by an ex-boyfriend in 1999.
In 2000 the foundation created Tracey’s Place of Hope, a residential program for adolescent girls in crisis with mental health and substance abuse problems. Later it partnered with Koinoia Homes for Teens to expand the program and help more teens escape drug addiction, trafficking, and domestic violence. Recently the foundation completed the new Biletnikoff Center of Hope, a new 2,000-square-foot space designed to offer complimentary and unlimited counseling and activities for the high-risk teen residents of Tracey’s Place of Hope.
The former counseling room was small, the size of a closet, according to Angela, the foundation’s Executive Director. “I wanted to build them a proper space so they may heal. They needed a place where they could laugh, cry, or scream and still feel safe from retribution or shame.” The nearby Biletnikoff Center of Hope provides three counseling rooms for the residential program: one for the lead counselor, one for one-on-one counseling, and one for family counseling.
“When she died, Fred and I didn't want her dream to die with her. It is truly amazing that Tracey is still giving back to the community she wanted to help,” notes Angela. “All of the teens that attend Tracey's Place of Hope come to us as an empty shell with little or no hope at all. Tracey's Place of Hope gives them hope for the future. I see it all the time, how being at the beautiful loving home let’s them find joy, confidence, strength, and how to handle life as it comes to them. It’s truly a miracle.”
The foundation is an active family affair for the couple. “Fred and I do just about everything,” says Angela. “We found that we have a better success rate, and we raise more funds if Fred and I are hands-on.” Everyone who works for the foundation is a volunteer. The foundation’s low overhead allows it to support more programs.
The Biletnikoff Foundation hosts three popular fundraising events each year: the 5K Race for Life, the Biletnikoff Foundation Crab Fest, and the Fred Biletnikoff Hall of Fame Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament. The 2021 Race for Life is scheduled for August 14 in Rocklin, near Sacramento, while the 2021 Biletnikoff Foundation Crab Fest will be held on October 22 at the Paris Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
For more information about the Biletnikoff Foundation, please visit www.biletnikoff.org.