The San Jose Sharks roster, coaches, broadcasters, alumni and 400 guests helped the Sharks Foundation raise a record-breaking $458,000 at Sampling with the Sharks presented by Alaska Airlines on March 6.
In the spirit of the hockey season, the annual wine tasting fundraiser was held at the home of the Sharks, SAP Center at San Jose, for the first time and included two hours of wine tasting, light bites, as well as unique live and premier auctions, featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and autographed memorabilia. The iconic Shark Head was also lowered for guests to take photos with throughout the evening.
Another new element included the option to purchase a ticket to the one-hour VIP Reception held in the brand new BMW Lounge on the Club Level and featured a more intimate setting for guests and the Sharks VIPs.
Video: Sharks Foundation's Sampling with the Sharks Event
As guests sampled wine on the bowl floor from wineries such as, Clos LaChance, Miner Family Winery, Silver Oak Cellars and Vineyard 7 & 8, and enjoyed the acoustic jazz rhythms of live band, Over the Edge, they had the opportunity to take part in the exclusive Joe Escobar Diamonds Mystery Puck Raffle where one winner received the choice between a men's Tudor Heritage Black Bay deep water adventure watch or a pair of diamond hoop earrings.
Additionally, guests could purchase keys for the Wine Fridge Raffle where one key opened a wine fridge filled with high-end wines provided by vintners pouring at the event and select bottles signed by Sharks players, plus the brand-new cooler.
The evening's live auctions, which featured six unique player experiences, raised $135,000 alone. One live auction package, the "Texas Ranch Round-up with #88 Brent Burns in partnership with Alaska Airlines," included a three-day, two-night stay with Burns' family at their ranch home in Texas for two guests. Roundtrip airfare for two is also provided courtesy of Alaska Airlines.
The premier auction raised nearly $101,000 and included exclusive signed memorabilia from the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Final, unique Sharks artwork and various experiences, such as a dinner and tequila tasting with Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson, which raised more than $15,000.
Funds generated from this year's event are more than double the funds raised at any single fundraiser for the Sharks Foundation and will help improve the lives of underserved youth and families in the Bay Area, with partial proceeds benefitting those impacted by the devastating fires in Northern California through the Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Napa Valley Community Foundation.
The Sharks Foundation would like to thank our Presenting Sponsor: Alaska Airlines, Splash Sponsors: SAP and Ticket Galaxy, Sip Sponsors: S&M Moving Systems and Mike D' Ambrosio Real Estate, Event Partners: Joseph George Wines, Signs Now, Joe Escobar Diamonds, San Jose Arena Authority, City of San Jose, Small World Foundation and Uber.