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'Sampling With the Sharks' Event Raises $60K For Sharks Foundation

by San Jose Sharks Staff / San Jose Sharks

When the opening bid for a Sharks Game Night Experience with the opportunity to meet and speak with San Jose Sharks standout rookie Logan Couture opened at $700, who knew the eventual price would rise to over five times that amount? Then again, maybe the final bid does not come as such a surprise when you look at where the money is going.

Click here to watch a video from the event.

In a fantastic evening at Club Auto Sport in San Jose, the Sharks Foundation, in partnership with Porsche and Joseph George Wines, the end really did justify the means.

Sharks defenseman Jason Demers and forward Torrey Mitchell socialized with guest while attending the 'Sampling with the Sharks' event on Monday, January 24.
Guests at the “Sampling With The Sharks” event were treated to a wine tasting event unlike any other. Some of the finest wines throughout Northern and Southern California were on hand and guests had an exclusive opportunity to mingle with Sharks players, coaches, and broadcasters. In addition multiple highly valued sports memorabilia items and exclusive entertainment experiences were made available in live and silent auction formats.

At the conclusion of the night, more than $60,000 was raised with proceeds benefiting the Sharks Foundation.

“It was a great night where all of the money raised is going to the Sharks Foundation,” said Sharks Foundation Manager Jeff Cafuir. “We’ll be able to turn it around and immensely benefit some very deserving non-profit organizations from Santa Clara County through our annual grant process. This event is going to go a long way to enhance the lives of youth and families in our community.”

It does not take long for a giving attitude to contagiously spread in such an incredible environment. Sharks players, coaches, and staff on hand did not hesitate in donating their time and smiles by participating in the event, despite the date falling in the middle of their season.

Sharks radio analyst Jamie Baker was one of the broadcasters in attendance.
It may have even provided a bit of a release from the stresses of an NHL schedule. Some players spent the evening sampling the wines; deciding what they may add to their own collection. Others remained content in walking around meeting guests and sharing in stories throughout the night. But, for an even smaller group, call it a pair of Couture and Devin Setoguchi, the two patiently waited in line to have their chance at the highly integrated driving simulators that Club Auto Sport made available for the night.

With the auto racing atmosphere set, it made sense that Porsche was on board as the presenting sponsor allowing for all details of the event to take place and made sure that each guest walked away happy. The automobile manufacturer also generously provided some floor decorations of the four-wheeled variety for everyone’s delighted viewing pleasure.

Sharks players Antero Niittymaki, Jamie McGinn, Joe Thornton and Scott Nichol take a photo with a fan at the fundraising event.
“The Bay Area Porsche dealers are proud to sponsor the San Jose Sharks and the Sharks Foundation,” said Heather Brant, the Area Marketing Manager for Porsche Cars North America. “We take pride in utilizing our premium brand and amazing vehicles to help raise money for the Sharks Foundation to give back to the local community.”

Not coincidentally, the most essential portion of the wine tasting event came from Joseph George Wines, securing some of the leading brands in California to help “top off” the evening. Paired with the food provided by Le Papillon, guests were treated with the best in food and wine.

“It was a first-class event all around,” said Bert George, owner of Joseph George Wines. “We had first-class wineries, first class food, and first-class guests in a first-class venue. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

The Sharks Foundation is thankful for everyone that took part in the splendid evening. The event left guests with great memories, cool prizes, and some new tastes in wines with all of the efforts going towards a great cause. The Sharks Foundation also thanks the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Raiders for their donations to the auction.

Please visit for more information on the annual grant process, upcoming events, and all things relating to the Sharks Foundation.

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