Sharks ready to as­sist vic­tims

The Mercury News Weekend - - LOCAL NEWS - Sal Pizarro Colum­nist

When San Jose res­i­dent Ryan Brown brought his nephew, Dillon to see his first Sharks game at SAP Cen­ter, he took home a hat as a sou­venir of the visit, which took place on his sev­enth birth­day. Sadly, that hat — along with all of Dillon’s and his fam­ily’s other pos­ses­sions — was lost when their home in Par­adise was de­stroyed in the Camp Fire about a week later.

When the Sharks heard what hap­pened, the team sent Dillon a let­ter signed by his two fa­vorite play­ers, Brent Burns and Bren­den Dillon, along with a pair of new hats au­to­graphed by the play­ers.

That small but mean­ing­ful ges­ture for a fan is just the tip of the hockey stick when it comes to the team’s ef­forts to aid vic­tims of the Camp Fire. At two games this month, the Sharks Foun­da­tion is ded­i­cat­ing pro­ceeds from its 50/50 Raf­fle — a con­test dur­ing home games with half the prize pool go­ing to the win­ning fan and the other half to char­ity — to the Sil­i­con Val­ley chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Red Cross to ben­e­fit Camp Fire vic­tims. The first was held Wed­nes­day night, the se­cond game is Mon­day.

The Sharks Foun­da­tion es­ti­mates the raf­fle will bring in about $15,000, and fans can also give cash dona­tions at the Sharks Foun­da­tion booth on the SAP Cen­ter con­course through­out the month. The foun­da­tion is also team­ing up with the Lady Sharks — that’s the group of play­ers’ wives and sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers — on a do­na­tion drive called Hol­i­days for Par­adise. There will be a pre- game col­lec­tion drive at SAP Cen­ter be­fore the Dec. 20 game against Win­nipeg. Mone­tary dona­tions will be col­lected at the en­trances and turned into gift cards for the nearly 1,400 stu­dents of Par­adise High School.

Of course, the Sharks are far from the only Sil­i­con Val­ley group that’s been moved to help out. Jim and Suzanne Salata had a huge bash planned for Wed­nes­day night to cel­e­brate both the hol­i­days and the 30th an­niver­sary of Gar­den City Con­struc­tion. But af­ter see­ing the dev­as­ta­tion in Butte County, they de­cided to scale things back sig­nif­i­cantly and asked guests to bring dona­tions of gift cards that would be dis­trib­uted to res­i­dents through the Ro­tary Club of Par­adise.

Suzanne Salata said Greg Casella of Catered Too! was more than gra­cious about their last-minute can­cel­la­tion. “He was great about it,” she said. “And our cater­ing ended up be­ing Safe­way and we had em­ploy­ees and friends serv­ing.” Guests were

very gen­er­ous, with the Salatas ex­pect­ing about $10,000 in dona­tions.

An­other group in­spired to give is Clas­si­cal League for Young Artists, which hopes that Mu­sic for Love, its char­ity ben­e­fit con­cert on Satur­day at Foothill Col­lege’s Smith­wick The­atre, brings in a lot of dona­tions for the Amer­i­can Red Cross to sup­port fam­i­lies af­fected by the wild­fires. The 7 p. m. con­cert fea­tures a va­ri­ety of per­form­ers, in­clud­ing the Col­or­ful Uni­verse Chil­dren’s Per­form­ing Arts Troupe, the Chif­fon Fu Guzheng En­sem­ble, pi­anist Lin Pan and sev­eral opera singers. Tick­ets are avail­able for $25 at eventbrite. com.


» The crew at 3Below The­aters in down­town San Jose is pro­duc­ing two live hol­i­day shows this month with de­cid­edly dif­fer­ent con­tent. The first is “San­tas­tic!,” a fam­ily-friendly mu­si­cal re­vue with a quar­tet of young per­form­ers hit­ting new ar­range­ments of hol­i­day fa­vorites like “Ru­dolph The Red-Nosed Rein­deer,” Frosty The Snow­man” and “Deck the Halls.” Af­ter the 45-minute show, the cast will lead ac­tiv­i­ties with the au­di­ence in­clud­ing hol­i­day card-mak­ing, cookie dec­o­rat­ing and a meet- and- greet with Santa.

The other show is “Who’s Hol­i­day!,” — a one-woman send- up of Dr. Seuss with Shan­non Guggen­heim play­ing a grown- up Cindy Lou Who from “How the Grinch Stole Christ­mas.” It’s an R- rated take on the ma­te­rial — Cindy Lou is now a bot­tle blonde liv­ing in a trailer — and def­i­nitely not for kids.

“San­tas­tic!” has shows at 11 a. m. and 1:30 p. m. on Satur­days and Sun­days from Dec. 8-23. “Who’s Hol­i­day!” runs Fri­day and Satur­day nights at 7:30 p. m. Dec. 7-22. “It’s great that we can do one show for the kids and one for the grown ups,” Guggen­heim told me dur­ing a break from learn­ing her Seuss- style cou­plets. “Just don’t get them mixed up!”


The San Jose Sharks sent a hat signed by play­ers Brent Burns and Bren­den Dillon to a young fan who lost his Sharks hat when his fam­ily’s home was de­stroyed in the Camp Fire in Novem­ber.

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