The San Jose Sharks and The Sharks Foundation brought some holiday cheer to local families as they hosted their annual Holiday Adoption Party at HP Pavilion at San Jose on Dec. 14. 39 families were adopted by nearly the entire Sharks roster, coaching staff, owners and front office personnel, who provided clothing, toys, food gift certificates and a television for each family in attendance. In addition to the gifts supplied by the Sharks, The Good Tidings Foundation also provided toys for families.
“This is a blessing,” said Danielle from San Jose. “I’m a single mother with three kids, so this is truly a blessing. I wasn’t expecting all this to happen. Just being here with the Sharks is exciting for the kids.”
Each family was recommended by Healthy Start Family Support Center, a program run by San Jose Unified School District.
The night started with each family arriving and entering the Rinkside Room, which was fully decorated with Christmas trees, candy cane walls and snowmen to capture the holiday spirit.
Once they settled in, the families enjoyed a delicious meal donated by Outback Steakhouse, with their adopters sitting alongside them. After their dinner, the families were encouraged to lace up a pair of skates borrowed from Logitech Ice at San Jose and hit the ice inside HP Pavilion, where S.J. Sharkie Claus was there to meet and skate with them.
A number of the Sharks players hit the ice as well, guiding some of the more inexperienced children around the rink and teaching them how to skate.
For those who didn’t want to skate, there was an arts and crafts area, where families could decorate cookies, make holiday ornaments and construct holiday cards. Other activities available for the kids included a slap shot booth, holiday movie viewings and an opportunity to have a picture taken with S.J. Sharkie Claus.
The night concluded with the families returning to the Rinkside Room, where stacks of presents, provided by their adopters, were given to them. As the families left HP Pavilion, they exchanged smiles, thank yous and waved goodbye to their adopters.
“I think this is a great event,” said Sharks rookie Grant Stevenson. “To be able to reach out to the community and bring in these families, it’s really a nice thing. All these kids out here skating and having fun, it makes you feel good.”
Scott Hannan, Marcel Goc, Grant Stevenson and Jonathan Cheechoo skate with a fan.