Over the last decade, hockey in the state of California has taken off becoming more than relevant on the West Coast of the United States. The Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks have both been atop of the NHL’s Western Conference standings, while the Anaheim Ducks have made two Stanley Cup Finals appearances, winning one in 2007. Out of the three teams, none have been more consistent than the San Jose Sharks who have made it to the Conference Finals twice in the last two years fighting to make it over the hump this up coming season. Their play on the ice has had more than a noticeable impact on their fans in the Santa Clara County as they continue to give them a reason to cheer religiously, but it is their work off the ice as an organization that has made a positive impact dating back to 1994.
The Sharks came to San Jose in 1991 which made them that season’s only new expansion team. In 1994, the team took interest in the community and started The Sharks Foundation with the goal to increase their organizational impact on the Santa Clara County. With the help of Sharks players, coaches and staff members, the Foundation works within the community to create a chance to enhance the lives of youth in Santa Clara by hosting donation drives and fundraisers to raise awareness.
The Foundation also manages various educational programs that cater to the community’s interest. Through programs such as Reading is Cool; students in the Santa Clara County are given the opportunity to receive a free effective literacy program encouraging students to excel in reading and become effective positive classmates to their peers. The Sharks Foundation also offers various holiday food drives and adoption programs, while promoting clothing drives and blood and bone marrow registration.
During the 2010-2011 season, The Sharks Foundation donated close to $400,000 to various non-profit youth organizations with money from their annual grant process and additional collection drives and fundraisers. By using the support of their fans to benefit their fans, The Sharks Foundation has created a very positive model for success and equality amongst the people of Santa Clara County. For the San Jose Sharks organization there is hardly anything more important than their success on the ice, resulting in a buyable and believe product for winning. The same model for excellence is also seen within their community as they work day in and day out to create and supply the best for their fans in all walks of life.
To learn more about The Sharks Foundation, visit http://www.thesharksfoundation.com/