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The Official Site of the San Jose Sharks

Fan Development Notebook

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks


More than 100 children and their parents were packed into the North Club at HP Pavilion on Dec. 9 to attend the first Reading Is Cool Celebrity Story Hour of the season. Sharks center Mark Smith, defenseman Tom Preissing and Television Color Analyst Drew Remenda were all on hand to read some of their favorite children’s books, while mascot S.J. Sharkie provided assistance during the storytelling.

Smith started the evening off by reading “The Sneetches and Other Stories,” by Dr. Seuss, which proved to be a crowd favorite. Smith maneuvered through Dr. Seuss’ sometimes tongue-twisting rhymes without a hitch and finished the story to rousing applause by the children.

Before continuing the story hour, Remenda and S.J. Sharkie led the crowd in a game of “Sharkie Says”—a modified version of “Simon Says.” While Remenda did his best to trick the children with a quick combination of commands, the youthful audience was more than up to the task, following directions when Remenda said “Sharkie Says” and staying frozen when he did not.

After the kids were warmed up, Preissing read another Dr. Seuss classic and holiday favorite, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” to the delight of the kids and parents listening.

Remenda closed out the reading portion of the evening by reading “Z is for Zamboni” by Matt Napier. The popular hockey alphabet book begins with the letter “A” for arena and ends with “Z” for Zamboni.

After the reading concluded, Remenda opened the floor for questions for the celebrity guests. While much of the focus was on Smith’s two-goal performance on Dec. 8, there were plenty of questions ranging from where they were born, to how long they’ve been playing hockey. One of the biggest laughs of the evening came when one young Sharks fan raised his hand to ask a question. When Remenda asked, “What’s your question?” the child emphatically said “I like the Sharks!”

No one left the Celebrity Story Hour empty handed as Smith, Preissing and S.J. Sharkie signed autographs for each of the children in attendance. One fan, noting Smith’s musical interests and talents, brought an electric guitar for the Sharks center to sign.

“The event was a lot of fun,” Preissing said. “When you get that many kids together, they get a little rambunctious, but it’s great that so many parents take time out of their schedule on a Friday night to bring the kids to listen to a bunch of old hockey players reading kids books.”

Reading Is Cool—presented by The Sharks Foundation, The Mercury News and FSN Bay Area—is a free literacy program for K-6th grade classrooms in Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County (Newark, Fremont and Union City). Each month, teachers record the number of books their students read and award their top reader a special Reading Is Cool prize. The top 10 classrooms also receive a visit from S.J. Sharkie to congratulate the students on their reading achievements. In addition to Celebrity Story Hours, other Reading Is Cool events include book drives at Sharks games and school Read-Ins.

For more information on Reading Is Cool, please visit or contact Sharks Foundation Manager Laura Johnston at

Mark Smith, Drew Remenda, Tom Preissing and S.J. Sharkie read their favorite stories to the kids.


The Sharks Foundation was able to raise nearly $24,000 through its Holiday Mystery Puck fundraiser held on Dec. 8 (vs. Florida) and Dec. 10 (vs. Carolina). In total, nearly 1,200 pucks were sold, each bearing the signature of a current player. Because each puck was wrapped, the player’s identity remained a secret until after the puck was purchased. For the five lucky fans each night that found their puck signed in gold, a ticket to an upcoming autograph session awaited.

The next Mystery Puck Fundraiser will be during home games on Feb. 6 (vs. Calgary) and Feb. 8 (vs. Chicago). Limited edition Valentine’s Day-themed pucks will be on sale for $20 each beginning at 6:15 p.m. and fans are encouraged to arrive early. Previous Mystery Puck Fundraisers have sold out well before the start of the game. Net proceeds will provide grants to future Sharks Foundation beneficiaries.

Don't miss out on your Valentine's Day autographed puck!


The holidays were much brighter for thousands of local young people this past December when The Sharks Foundation teamed up with the United States Marine Corps Reserve to present its annual Toys For Tots toy drive program during home games on Dec. 8 (vs. Florida) and Dec. 16 (vs. Washington). Hundreds of new and unwrapped toys, ranging from board games to stuffed animals and even roller skates, were donated, along with more than $3,000 in monetary contributions, all of which were distributed to Santa Clara County families in need.

Toys for Tots is a community action program with a long history of success in looking after America’s less fortunate children. Through a shiny new toy at Christmas, Toys for Tots delivers a message of hope. It lets children know that someone cares. It tells them they’re important, builds self-esteem and motivates children to a productive life.

Thank you fans for your generosity this past holiday season!


On Dec. 7, 11 members of the Sharks organization visited City Team Ministries in San Jose to assist in the distribution of 35,000 pounds of frozen chicken from Tyson Foods.

Assisting the efforts of Lift Up America (, Sharks players Grant Stevenson, Josh Langfeld, Marcel Goc, Christian Ehrhoff, Niko Dimitrakos, Nolan Schaefer and Milan Michalek along with team President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Jamison, broadcasters Dan Rusanowsky and Randy Hahn and mascot S.J. Sharkie were present to help solve part of the hunger problem in the South Bay this holiday season.

“We are proud to be good neighbors in our community,” said Jamison. “And on behalf of The Sharks Foundation and our staff and players here today, we are happy to assist those in need this Holiday season.”

After some opening remarks from officials at City Team Ministries and others, the real action began. Rolling up their hockey jerseys, the Sharks contingent jumped right in, moving all 35,000 pounds of frozen chicken and turkey to the waiting vehicles of 22 non- profit local agencies which included:

African-American Community
Breakfast with Friends
Camp MayMac
Family Services
Heritage Home
House of Grace
CityTeam San Francisco
CityTeam Oakland
Community Services Agency
Emergency Housing Consortium
Inn Vision
Loaves and Fishes
Love Inc.
Martha's Kitchen
Meals on Wheels
Sacred Heart
Salvation Army of Gilroy
Salvation Army of Santa Clara County
Santa Maria Urban Ministries
Shelter Network
St. Joseph's Family Center
Urban Ministry of Palo Alto

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