Not only did the beginning of October last year bring the Sharks 2015-16th season and 25th Anniversary, but it was also the start of the Sharks Foundation’s Young Professional Board (YPB). The YPB is a local group of young professionals who are passionate about the community and the Sharks and volunteer their time by raising crucial funds for the Bay Area and assisting the Foundation with various events and programs.
One of the YPB’s main tasks during the season is to plan, organize and execute a fundraiser on their own, which will benefit the Sharks Foundation. Once the Sharks clinched a playoff spot, the YPB decided their first fundraising event would be a playoff viewing party that included a raffle. As soon as the Sharks #BeatLA, it was time to #SmashNash. Thanks to the generosity of a team sponsor, Silver Creek Sportsplex, the event took place at Silver Creek’s restaurant, High Five at the Plex on May 3 during Game 3 of the Second Round against Nashville. YPB members took to social media and word of mouth to promote the event, as well as posting flyers on local community boards.
Once fans arrived to cheer on the Sharks, they had plenty of room to watch the game and enjoy various food and drinks. The event was free and open to the public, but raffle tickets were sold throughout the game to fans with proceeds benefitting the Sharks Foundation. Raffle prizes included: memberships to local gyms, spa packages, tickets to Bay Area sporting events, wine tasting, hotel accommodations. A donated pair of game worn gloves signed by Patrick Marleau were added to the raffle thanks to High Five Pizza restaurant owner, Myles McEntee. During commercial breaks and intermissions, fans had the opportunity to answer trivia questions and win great Sharks prizes, including autographed pucks and photos. Throughout the night, fans also received Sharks keychains, stickers and Sharks Territory signs.
The YPB and Sharks Foundation decided to donate the funds raised from the event to the Foundation’s Beard-A-Thon charitable partner, the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, and its mission to prevent burns and fires and enhance the quality of life for burn survivors.
The Young Professional Board has also worked alongside the Sharks Foundation at all of its annual fundraisers, including Sharks and Strikes, Sampling with the Sharks presented by Citrix, Fitness Faceoff powered by Kaiser Permanente and gameday events such as pre-game street rallies and in-game auctions. They also work to create new fundraising and sponsorship opportunities. For more information on the Young Professional Board, click here.