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Successful Skate for the Troops & Jr. Sharks Story

 

When Cathy Andrade, Bay Area power-skating coach, presented the idea to the Jr. Sharks of an event called, “Skate for the Troops”, she never imagined how successful the event would be.

Defending the Blue Line (http://www.defendingtheblueline.org) and the Jr. Sharks (www.sjjrsharks.com) joined together for the 1st Skate for the Troops & Jr. Sharks event where players collected pledges from family, friends and corporate sponsors (Wayin, HP) who joined in to support the two worthy causes.  A team of volunteers worked tirelessly over the holidays to ensure that the first annual event would be as successful as possible.

On the day of the event, Sharks Ice in San Jose was buzzing with excitement!  Outside everyone enjoyed looking at the military Hummer vehicle brought by the U. S. Army.   Inside the complex, Graf Canada sponsored an equipment drive which brought in approximately 500 pieces of hockey equipment that will be shipped to families of the military throughout the globe.  On Center Ice, the players enjoyed a free skate session and received dog tags for raffle prizes.  Suited up in his Camouflage fatigues, SJ Sharkie, stopped by to join in the fun.  Upstairs, parents, family and friends had an opportunity to bid on an array of gift baskets.  The baskets filled with donated items were a hit and bidding was brisk. 

There was a lot of excitement around the leader board.  The board was especially made for the event as an Eagle Scout project by Jordan Manning.  Dan Rusanowsky and Jamie Baker kept the excitement going by announcing the standings of pledges collected by each team.  As the morning went on, the excitement grew.  The team collecting the most pledges earned a team visit by NHL Sharks Brett Burns as well as each member of the winning team received a signed #88 team jersey!  The runner-up prize was NHL Sharks coaches attending and running the team practice (PeeWee AA Team). Additionally, signed DTBL military jerseys were awarded for top donations of the day (Bivolcic) and top individual fundraisers of the event (Harrenstien, Sweeney).

As the event came to a close, and all the pledges were totaled, the winning team was announced.  The Squirt ’03 team had earned the Brett Burns visit and jerseys!  The boys were ecstatic! 

And, as Cathy was handed the final tally of pledges collected, not only was the goal set forth surpassed, but her dream had come true!   A huge thank you to players, family and corporate sponsors the event brought in a little over $60, 000!  It was a successful day indeed!