It’s Christmas time, the advent of the holiday season, and regardless of which traditions you and your family choose to celebrate, it’s a time of joy, wonder, reflection, and continued Thanksgiving.
On December 8th, we began with an opportunity to talk hockey with some enthusiastic fans at Stanley’s Sports Bar, located in Sharks Ice at San Jose, with the first of ten “game watching” events put on by the Sharks. With CSN-California tuned to all of the television sets, Jamie Baker and I had an enjoyable night talking hockey with the fans, posing for photos with the kids, and going back in history to December of 1992, when the Sharks ended a 13-game losing streak with a 57-save performance by Jeff Hackett and a 7-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings.
On Monday, December 10th, the Sharks organization continued its longstanding tradition of emphasizing family with the annual Sharks Foundation “Holiday Assist” program, which also took place at Stanley’s Sports Bar. A total of 27 needy and deserving families found sponsorship from various parts of the Sharks family, and a great time was had by all in attendance.
The afternoon began with an opportunity for the families to skate, and some put on the blades for the very first time. After the skating session, sponsors and families moved to Stanley’s, where a great meal was had, and lively conversation continued. Following that, the groups moved to another section of the facility, where the families opened gifts.
Our broadcasting group were happy to join a group from Oakland Ice to sponsor a great family, and it’s always very instructive to note that each family recognized that in challenging times, the love that they share is far more important than any of the gifts that were opened at the event. Seeing that in each family that was present was very special for all those who participated.
Of course, the excitement at each stage of the event was a sight to behold, and the looks of joy on the faces of both children and parents provided for a wonderful way to begin the holiday season.
Many thanks go to a variety of people who made this event possible:
- Jon Gustafson and the Sharks Ice at San Jose/Stanley’s staff were instrumental in providing a great venue and atmosphere for the event.
- Healthy Start, who were represented ably by Susie Aldrich, Maria Carasco and Juanita Palacios, were the people who put the families together with the Sharks.
- Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, also a proud sponsor of Sharks Radio Network broadcasts, were there with some of their best work.
- Aramark, who serve HP Pavilion customers at all events, provided great food to complement the pizza.
- Rosendin Electric was a corporate sponsor that stepped up to involve themselves in this event.
- The Golden State Precision Team were not only escorts on the ice for some of the beginners, but they also helped serve the food to all.
- Many on the Sharks Sports and Entertainment staff were also on hand to volunteer, and of course, Jeff Cafuir and the Sharks Foundation staff did a terrific job.
All across San Jose and Silicon Valley, the lights are getting put up, the trees are getting decorated, and the holiday season is kicking into gear. For those of us involved with the Sharks’ organization, things are now in full swing, with another successful Sharks Foundation “Holiday Assist” event.
Thanks to all who made another great event possible.