SAN JOSE, CA -- During the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, hockey fans enjoyed participating in a longstanding hockey tradition of the playoff beard. To honor the playoff beard and to raise money for charity, the Beard-A-Thon created a great outlet for fans to show off their facial hair growth and accept pledges from friends and family whilst cheering on their favorite team. The San Jose Sharks community pledged over $10,000 to the Beard-A-Thon to benefit two cancer related organizations; Breast Cancer Angels and The American Cancer Society.
As many Sharks fans know, Sharks forward #83, Matt Nieto, is experiencing the effects of cancer in his family. This past December, as Matt was breaking into the NHL, his mother, Mary, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mary found support in their hometown of Long Beach, through an organization called Breast Cancer Angels. This organization provides financial and emotional assistance for patients and their families as they are going through treatment. For more information about Breast Cancer Angels, please visit: www.breastcancerangels.org/.
The local chapter of The American Cancer Society also benefitted from the 2014 Sharks Beard-A-Thon. Located in Campbell, the American Cancer Society provides assistance to those battling breast cancer. They are looking forward to hosting a breast cancer event this fall to raise even more funds for their support services. For more information about The American Cancer Society, please visit: www.cancer.org.
On each beard grower’s personal Beard-A-Thon page, they had a chance to explain why they were growing their beard. One participant claimed, “I believe in supporting the Sharks Foundation and for the fun of growing a beard for the playoff run”. Another Sharks fan stated, “There is no better way to show passion for the Sharks Cup quest than a beard and a bonus of helping others”.
This year, over 4,500 NHL fans across the country raised a total of $302,427 for the Beard-A-Thon. Since the Beard-A-Thon began four years ago, over $3 million has been raised for non-profit organizations.
About the Sharks Foundation
The Sharks Foundation positively impacts the community in two ways: (1) implements effective programs that enhance the lives of youth and families and (2) raises funds and redistributes the money back into the community.
This year alone, our literacy program helped over 30,000 students learn about the importance of reading through our Reading Is Cool program. Over the past two seasons, the Sharks Foundation has donated more than $1 million in support to local organizations, including the unveiling of the newly redesigned “Sharks Pediatric Clinic.” Since its inception in 1994, the Sharks Foundation has given more than $6.2 million to more than 120 non-profit groups in Santa Clara County.