This November marked the 20th year of the National Hockey League's league-wide initiative, Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) in which all 31 teams across the U.S. and Canada participate.
In the spirit of the campaign, on November 16 the Sharks Foundation, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, executed its first-ever Board Game Night at Kaiser Santa Clara. Fifty guests comprised of pediatric outpatients and their families were joined by Sharks Aaron Dell, Justin Braun, Melker Karlsson and team mascot S.J. Sharkie, and San Jose Barracuda players Antoine Bibeau, Jake Middleton and Keaton Middleton to play classic games including Chutes and Ladders, Candyland and Checkers. Additionally, Dell and Bibeau took a timeout from the competition to visit in-patients in Kaiser's pediatric unit who could not join the fun downstairs. A pizza party was kicked-off by Kaiser Permanente Sr. Vice President and Area Manager Chris Boyd and ended with Sharks-themed desserts and each of the children taking home a card game of their choice.
The following evening, as the Sharks hosted the visiting St. Louis Blues, the organization officially celebrated Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Kaiser Permanente. SAP Center was illuminated in lavender as fans were greeted at all entrances with purple rally towels which were later used to honor all cancer warriors, survivors and those that have lost the battle to this horrific disease. During pregame warm-ups, Sharks players donned custom, lavender HFC jerseys which were later auctioned off in-game to benefit non-profit organization Cancer CAREpoint.
That same night, the Sharks Foundation and Kaiser Permanente hosted several families impacted by cancer and included them in various activities throughout the evening beginning with five pediatric patients ages 7-19 standing on the ice with the Sharks starting line-up for a moment of recognition during the national anthem. Throughout the game, guests enjoyed Zamboni rides and eventually a post-game meet-and-greet with the Sharks players.
Another special moment included longtime Sharks season ticket holder Cindy Cook, who recently celebrated her fifth year being cancer free, dropping the ceremonial first puck to kick the game into action. As a survivor, Cindy has a personal tie to Hockey Fights Cancer and is passionate about supporting events that impact youth facing health challenges.
During the entire month of November every Sharks home game had a cancer-related non-profit as the beneficiary of the Sharks Foundation's 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino and Resort; four beneficiaries received two nights of jackpots each. Totals were as follows:
Coastal Kids Home Care on Nov. 1 & 3: $15,935
Dec My Room on Nov. 6 & 13: $13,530
Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services on Nov. 15 & 17: $17,280
American Cancer Society, Campbell on Nov. 20 & 23: $16,880
Additionally, the Sharks Foundation auctioned a variety of HFC-themed items during each November in-game auction with net proceeds benefitting non-profit There With Care of the Bay Area. At the conclusion of the month, There With Care received a $9,300 donation. Hockey Fights Cancer concluded on Friday, November 23 when both the Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks participated in a league-wide moment of silence to honor the 20-year initiative. Both teams gathered on either blue-line and used stick taps to show their support.
In total, the Sharks Foundation was able to donate $72,925 between five non-profits, completing a successful November in its season-long Giving Campaign.