Happiness has found its way back into a Redwood City home after the Sharks Foundation and Rebuilding Together Peninsula teamed up Wednesday to present a Sharks-themed playhouse to a local family.
Three Sharks players Joe Pavelski
, Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell
helped present the two-story structure to the family. The playhouse features an “ice rink” play-surface, locker room, mock zamboni control panel, autographed Sharks team souvenirs, a climbing apparatus made of pucks and most notably, a massive fiberglass shark head with a dorsal fin and tail.
Tragedy struck the family in May when Daisy, who asked that her last name not be used, lost her husband after a three-year battle with cancer. Just a week later, on what would have been their 11th wedding anniversary, the family, which includes twins Will and Carl, (8), and Sarah, (4), went to Tiffany’s in the Stanford Shopping Center so Daisy could get her wedding ring cleaned. While at the center, they saw a raffle for the Sharks playhouse in addition to an auction of 14 other playhouses organized by Rebuilding Together Peninsula.
Since the twin boys had grown up watching and attending Sharks games with their father, it was only natural that they both asked their mom to buy each of them a raffle ticket.
She obliged. Four days later Daisy got a phone call telling her they had won.
“I dragged them out of bed, brought them into the kitchen, and told them, ‘You guys, you won the Sharks house,’” said Daisy. “Their eyes were so huge, they were so excited and couldn’t believe it. It was just so nice to give them some good news for once.”
Daisy said she thinks her husband may have been responsible for their good fortune.
“He was a huge sports fan — football, baseball, hockey — and I think that if he could ever have given me an anniversary gift, this would be it,” she said. “Maybe he had something to do with this. It’s unbelievable.”
In addition to the players, the family was joined by dozens of neighbors and friends, along with staff members from Rebuilding Together Peninsula. The crowd got so big that the street was blocked off, although this may have had more to do with the massive crane that was needed to lift the playhouse into the backyard.
Pavelski said he never had a playhouse in his backyard when he was growing up.
“The closest thing I remember was digging a big hole in the ground or making a fort across the street in the woods,” he said.
Mitchell didn’t have a playhouse either, but was glad to see the kids enjoying their new one.
“I always wanted a tree house, but never had anything in the back yard, certainly nothing that compares to this,” he said. “They’ll probably have all their friends come over and use it and play, so it’s going to be fun for them.”
None of this would have been possible without Rebuilding Together Peninsula, an organization that builds volunteer partnerships to rehabilitate homes and community facilities for low-income homeowners and neighbors. Their developmental director, Kate Comfort Harr, said it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.
“I don’t think it could have been lined up any better,” she said. “This family couldn’t have been more ready; they even had a perfect spot in the backyard for it. It’s just a really compelling story. Once we got to know the family we were so pleased that they won.”
Daisy said that winning the Sharks house boosted the spirits of those who mattered the most — her children.
“We’ve had a lot of sadness lately, and to be able to give the kids some good news,” she said. “I think it just gave them a sense that good things can still happen even when something as tragic as what happened to us had just happened.”