Every January the Sharks Foundation celebrates heroes of all ages during its Heroes Appreciation Month campaign.
On January 9, the Foundation honored four-legged heroes by making Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) the 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino Resort beneficiary of the evening, which resulted in a $10,295 donation to the non-profit, which pairs assistance dogs with individuals with disabilities at no cost. The Foundation's contribution will sponsor four CCI teams for the organization.
The Foundation also launched sales for its first-ever 2020 Teal Together Pet Calendar with net proceeds benefiting CCI, Jake's Wish Dog Rescue and the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority.
Later in the month, the Sharks Foundation partnered with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, providing the non-profit a $15,000 Community Assist Grant to make vital repairs to the Gilroy home of Dave and Bob Galtman.
With physical limitations, the homemade it difficult for 98-year-old WWII veteran Dave to get around safely and take care of pressing repairs on his own. The scope of work included the installation of a wheelchair lift and accessible bars, critical internal upgrades due to the home testing lead-positive, and on January 24, more than 30 Sharks employees and community members from the Gilroy Veterans Memorial Hall came together to paint the exterior of the house.
After living in the home for more than 20 years, Dave unexpectedly passed away just one week prior to the renovation completion. The project moved forward in his honor and as a thank you to his son Bob, a Vietnam War veteran, who will continue to live there.
Bob was presented with a Sharks Stealth jersey and joined the organization at SAP Center on January 29 for a Sharks home game, where he was recognized for his military service.
On January 27, the Sharks hosted its official Heroes Appreciation Night. In a pre-game ceremony, Team Teal honored 10 first responders who played a critical role in the care and well-being of those wounded during the July 28 Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting. The honorees were:
- Chief Scot Smithee
- Detective Eric Cryar
- Officer Hugo Delmoral
- Detective Robert Basuino
- Officer Mark Tarasco
- PSC Marisa Huntley
- PSC Monica Beltran
- Engineer Paramedic Steven Hayes II
- Acting Captain Paramedic Daniel Lozano
- Operations Supervisor Paramedic Robert Guerrero
As part of the ceremony, the National Anthem was sung by the Gilroy High School Chamber Choir and Sharks players wore 'Gilroy Strong' jerseys during warm-ups and hats representing both the Gilroy Police Department and Gilroy Fire Department. The jerseys were autographed and gifted to the hosted first responders.
Additionally, the Sharks locker room doors were opened by Probationary Firefighter Paramedic Brendon McDonagh and Gilroy Police Officer Doug Remmick as the team walked out onto the ice. Coaches and broadcasters wore Gilroy Fire Department lapel pins, while the Tank Patrol showed support by wearing the same hats the players donned during warm-ups.
The Gilroy Foundation served as the evening's 50/50 Raffle beneficiary and ultimately received an $8,680 donation, which brought the team's total donation to #GilroyStrong fundraising efforts to nearly $50,000 dating back to various organizational endeavors throughout the year.
The following home game, Shop With A Cop Foundation of Silicon Valley had the opportunity to raise $6,260 as the Foundation's 50/50 Raffle beneficiary. The non-profit promotes literacy among children from under-resourced neighborhoods and aims to humanize the person behind the badge so children can see police officers from a positive perspective.
To conclude the campaign, Sharks players and VIPs traveled to Alameda for an afternoon of hockey on board the U.S.S. Hornet aircraft carrier turned historic museum. Active and veteran military members from the local VA, Coast Guard Base, Heroes Voices, Vietnam Vets of Diablo Valley, Swords to Plowshares, S.F. Vet Center, Volunteers of America Veterans, and their families were invited free of charge to attend the event.
Guests met on the ship's flight deck where the Sharks Street Team and Youth Hockey Department provided instruction and opportunity to play hockey in an inflatable rink and slapshot booth alongside Sharks Timo Meier and Aaron Dell and Barracuda players Manuel Wiederer and Josef Korenar.
January highlighted the Heroes Appreciation campaign's Goals for Kids beneficiary, the Folded Flag Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of fallen U.S. military members.