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November 2011 Community Award - Amici's East Coast Pizzeria

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks

In the mid-1980's two East Coast transplants, Peter Cooperstein (Boston), and Mike Forter (New York) decided to do something about their mutual longing for the style of pizza they'd grown up with, and set out on a quest to learn the secrets that made pies from the famous pizzerias of New York, Boston, and Connecticut so distinctively delicious. The friends discovered that their favorite pizzerias had something in common: a traditional, Italian brick oven. In 1987 they opened the first Amici's East Coast Pizzeria in downtown San Mateo and to their delight it became a success with restaurants all over the Bay Area.

Amici's has been a Sharks sponsor since the 2006-07 season, and in November, donated more than $16,000 to the Sharks Foundation.

What is Amici's philosophy on corporate giving?
The "giving" not only aids a particular cause, but it makes our ownership feel good and gives our employees a sense of pride that we are helping our community. We donate about 50 gift certificates each week to schools and other great causes in the Bay Area.

How did the partnership with the Sharks Foundation come about?
When we first became a sponsor of the team, we felt it was important to include an element that benefited the South Bay community as well as our mutual business interests. Hosting a fundraiser with Sharks players in attendance seemed like the perfect way to do so, AND to give the fans a great time.

The Sharks Foundation and Amici's share the feeling that it's important to give back to the community without whose support we couldn't be successful.

What advice do you have for Sharks fans looking to make a difference in the community?
We hope that our involvement with the Foundation and other community causes will inspire both our employees and customers to become involved in activities and programs for the greater good. We try to support them when they do so.

Any final thoughts?
It's terrific to be recognized for our contribution among so many who give so generously to this worthy cause. We wouldn't be able to host this type of event or make this type of donation without the support of the Sharks players and staff who generously give up their time to attend and meet the fans. Most of all we appreciate the fantastic Sharks fans who show up in hundreds to be a part of these events.

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