On December 10, the Sharks Foundation teamed up with San Jose Unified School District Healthy Start Family Resource Center for its annual Holiday Assist Party, which hosted 39 underserved families for a private party at Sharks Ice San Jose.
Along with the celebration, all Sharks players and coaches, as well as members of the ownership group, broadcasters and front office staff attended the event and served as “Assisters” by adopting each family and fulfilling their holiday wish list. The Foundation created this unique program as a way to aid those who otherwise would not be able to provide their families with additional items around the holidays.
When the party began families quickly swapped their shoes for ice skates and were invited to skate, some for the very first time, with Sharkie Claus. The Golden State Precision Team & Jr. Sharks were also on hand to lend their expertise as skate monitors and teachers. Children were encouraged to partake in cookie decorating, arts and crafts, face painting, and a photo booth.
Families then enjoyed dinner at Stanley’s (located in Sharks Ice) with their Assister. The dinner presentation included remarks from Sharks radio broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky, a hearty meal delivered by Old Spaghetti Factory and dessert from Aramark. The intimate setting surrounding dinner provided a chance for families to relax and spend time together, while holiday movies and music played in the background.
As dinner concluded everyone headed downstairs where piles of gifts were unveiled by each Assister. The gifts, which were tailored to each families specific wish list, included basic-needs items, such as warm clothes, school supplies and household needs as well as toys and athletic equipment. New this year, the Good Tidings Foundation and TurningWheels for Kids donated 42 bikes for families to bring home.
The Sharks Foundation would like to thank Healthy Start Resource Center, Sharks players, coaches, ownership group, broadcasters and front office staff, the Good Tidings Foundation, TurningWheels for Kids, PODS, Mancini’s Sleep World, Aramark, Stanley’s and Sharks Ice staff, Face painting provided by Melina Bugarin, CommonWealth Credit Union, Golden State Precision Team, San Jose Jr. Sharks, Pinewood School, Kaiser Permanente and Old Spaghetti Factory.
Since 1999 the Sharks Foundation’s Holiday Assist Program has assisted hundreds of families in hopes of spreading holiday cheer to those that need it most.
To view 2015 Holiday Assist Party photos, click here.
For more information, click here.