Every November the Sharks celebrate the National Hockey League's Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) initiative. The organization executed its dedicated Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Kaiser Permanente on November 2 when the Sharks faced the Vancouver Canucks at SAP Center.
The building was illuminated in lavender, the campaign's official color, as fans were greeted with HFC rally towels which were later used to honor those who have overcome, those we have lost and those who are in the fight against cancer.
During warm-ups, Sharks players donned Adidas black and purple specialty jerseys which were auctioned by the Sharks Group Sales department that same evening and raised $35,000 for Cancer CAREpoint. Players also showed their support by wrapping their sticks with lavender tape and showcasing HFC decals on their helmets.
The Sharks Foundation and Kaiser Permanente hosted several families impacted by cancer, including them in various activities throughout the evening beginning with five oncology patients ages 8-16 standing on the ice with the Sharks starting line-up for a moment of recognition before the national anthem. Throughout the game, guests enjoyed special experiences and a post-game meet-and-greet with the team.
This season was a particularly special one for the Sharks organization as the front office and team were able to support colleagues Sharks Foundation Director Heather Hooper, Sharks Digital Director Patrick Hooper, and their 2 ½ year old daughter Graysen Rhea who was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in November 2018.
Graysen, who many friends and family fondly refer to as "Amazing Gray", Heather, Patrick and baby sister Quinn participated in the ceremonial puck drop as a family to acknowledge their journey over the past year, and to celebrate the progress Gray has made with her diagnosis to date. Their powerful story was captured by Sharks Productions with a beautiful digital story which was shared with fans in attendance on the videoboard leading up to the puck drop moment.
The Sharks Foundation also hosted a HFC-themed auction which included a team signed lavender jersey, as well as an auction on November 16 featuring the lavender tape-wrapped sticks used by the Sharks players during warm-ups on HFC Night. Both auctions provided 100% of net proceeds to the Kids & Art Foundation, a non-profit that provides art workshops to children with cancer and their care circles to improve their wellbeing during treatment, as survivors, and in bereavement. Kids & Art Foundation received a $7,500 donation raised through auction proceeds.
On November 16, the Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings participated in the NHL's league wide HFC moment at SAP Center by having both team's full rosters on the blue lines during the anthem, giving ceremonial stick taps to honor the initiative. That same night, the Foundation hosted 13-year-old Harvey Thompson, an inspiring teen brought to the team through the Foundation's Goals for Kids partner, the Austen Everett Foundation, which empowers kids in their fight against cancer through the support of athletic teams. Harvey, a Leukemia warrior, stood on the ice with the teams for the HFC moment and participated in behind-the-scenes experiences all evening including watching warm-ups from the penalty box, visiting the broadcast team, and enjoying a post-game meet-and-greet with Sharks players.
In the spirit of the campaign, the Foundation provided a $25,000 Community Assist Grant to Dec My Room (DMR) to renovate the pediatric outpatient infusion clinic at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. Led by the DMR team, and with assistance from the Kaiser Permanente pediatric group and hospital staff, the scope of work included: repainting the entire clinic, incorporation of several hand painted "land and sea" theme murals in the patient bays and treatment rooms, ocean-inspired curtain partitions, new seating, toys and wall art. On November 18, DMR, Kaiser and Sharks VIP's gathered to officially unveil the new space.
In addition to the ceremony, Sharks players Barclay Goodrow and Martin Jones, and Barracuda players Jake Middleton and Manny Wiederer joined the event to visit pediatric inpatients and deliver FINatical Kids Club packages.
During select home games, cancer-related non-profits served as the beneficiary of the Foundation's 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino Resort:
Nov. 2: Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services - $8,355
Nov. 7: Coastal Kids Home Care - $5,005
Nov. 12: There With Care of the Bay Area - $5,370
Nov. 16: American Cancer Society - $11,675
Nov. 23: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - $10,310
In total, the Sharks Foundation donated $73,215 between seven non-profits, completing an impactful November Hockey Fights Cancer Campaign.