Steve Young hopes to bring music therapy to Lucile Packard


Anybody who loves the 49ers remembers how well Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young played the game. He retired in 2000 after more than 15 years in the NFL.

Steve and his wife Barb are tackling the big job of raising four young children. They also have an active role in children's health issues. The Youngs want to bring music therapy to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

Steve's foundation already created the playroom there called The Forever Young Zone years ago. However, there is no room in this crowded space for their next program called Sophie's Place. So they are in talks with Lucile Packard about finding a permanent location inside the new children's hospital expansion.

"Once you see it and get a vision for Sophie and Sophie's Place, and what music therapy actually does, it's like great ideas sell themselves," said Young.

"You've got children who can't even speak, yet in music therapy, they can sing. Children that can't move, then in music therapy, they're able to dance, or bang on a drum," said Barb.

Sophie's Place will honor their dear family friend, 17-year-old singer, songwriter Sophie Barton.

Sophie died suddenly, while on a hike, with her mother in Salt Lake City. The Youngs are very close with the Barton family. Sophie was one of five children, who are all talented musicians. Sophie dedicated much of her time to charity.

"People need to know who she was, she was a phenomenal person," said Steve.

"She herself was volunteering so much time," said Barb.

Barb visited The Forever Young Zone, the day before Steve came by to talk about her vision for Sophie's Place.

"It's going to be this wonderful music therapy room, that the music therapists can bring in children and work with them, but it's also going to have a sound studio so children can make their own music," said Barb.

The first Sophie's Place is being built in the Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. The Youngs are hoping Lucile Packard Children's Hospital will be next.

"We've committed to a plan to where we could fund a music therapist in the future," said Steve.

The Packard hospital expansion won't be complete, though, until 2015.

Barb and Steve Young believe their next charity project, Sophie's Place, is going to make a world of difference for sick kids, and one way or another, they plan to bring the program here to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

"We're going to go mobile. And we're going to create a Sophie's Place inside this truck," said Barb.

Volunteers can take that truck on the road to camps for sick children like the Taylor Family Foundation's Camp Arroyo in Livermore.

Sophie's family says she would be so pleased to know her work is being carried on.

"Sports are important and useful and teach great lessons, but it doesn't work everywhere. Music works everywhere. It changes everything," said Young.

You can learn more about the Sophie's Place project, it's on the front page of the Forever Young Foundation website and you can learn how to get involved.

So, Steve and Barb are asking for your help to start with the mobile Sophie's Place. They need a brand new empty van so they can fill it with music equipment. By the way, Steve says he will not be singing, he doesn't have that talent. Although, Barb says he's a great shower singer.

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