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Healthy Start Holiday Party 2006

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks and The Sharks Foundation once again brought cheer to local families in need this holiday season when they hosted the team’s annual Healthy Start Holiday Party on Dec. 5 at Logitech Ice at San Jose.
Each year, the Healthy Start Family Support Center, run through the San Jose Unified School District, holds its Adopt-A-Family Holiday program.  The program matches families in need with local organizations and individuals that provide clothing, toys and other holiday gifts.  The Sharks have a long-standing relationship with the center, which is currently managed by Susan Aldrich, wife of Sharks Equipment Manager Mike Aldrich. 
This year, nearly the entire Sharks roster, coaching staff, owners and front office personnel came together to help a total of 39 families.  Each family was invited to Logitech Ice for a celebration with the team that included dinner provided by Outback Steakhouse at Stanley’s Sports Bar, ice skating, holiday-themed arts & crafts, festive cookie decorating, holiday movies and photos with S.J. Sharkie Claus.
The evening culminated with the presentation of gifts to the families.  Prior to the event, each member of the team and other adopters selected an individual family to shop for, using the family’s “wish list” provided by Healthy Start.  Clothing (school uniforms and warm winter apparel) are given top priority but all children receive a variety of toys as well.  In addition to the gifts supplied by the Sharks, The Good Tidings Foundation also provided toys for each family.  All gifts were wrapped and given to the families at the end of the evening to take home and open on Christmas.

“It makes the evening more special,” said Sharks Captain Patrick Marleau. “When you finally meet your family and see the rewards of your shopping experience.”

In addition to the Adopt-A-Family Holiday program, Healthy Start Family Center provides other school-integrated services and activities for youth and families.  Their goal is to create school-readiness, educational success, physical health, emotional support and family strength.  All services are provided at no cost to the families served and the center works in collaboration with numerous community agencies to make this possible. 
For more information on the Healthy Start Family Center, please call (408) 535-6798.
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