When is a Shark Bite a Healthy Thing?

San Jose Sharks Foundation

The San Jose Sharks are a team of tough, big, scrappy and talented hockey players…but they are also deeply committed to their community. No wonder, then, that their entire organization and Foundation are too. Here’s a picture of them visiting Valley Medical Center a while back…and our work together continued…

That’s why we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership between the Sharks Foundation and the VMC Foundation: The San Jose Sharks Pediatric Clinic at VHC Tully!

The clinic is already there at Valley Health Center Tully in San Jose, and serves more than 6,000 children each month! And while it’s long on quality care for kids, it’s short on décor and inspiration.

Enter the Sharks, who are investing up to $100,000 to “re-imagine” the Clinic. We’ll have Sharks images of players, team colors throughout and of course Sharkie, the team mascot everywhere. More than just looking good, the clinic will be full of healthy tips for kids and parents: Take a BITE out of your veggies, drink water not soda, get your exercise and immunizations…all positive messages to match the positive look and feel.

Parents will love it too, and of course this “Legacy Project” will help the Sharks show off their involvement in our community. They already do a lot, but this is a very big deal. Huge thanks to Jeff Cafuir, the Sharks Foundation Manager, for spearheading the project along with our team here at the VMC Foundation and throughout the Sharks organization.

So yes, the Sharks are caring, humble, community-minded idealists…unless of course you meet them on the ice. Wearing an Anaheim Ducks uniform.

Nov. 14, 2011: Sharks & Strikes Celebrity Bowling Tournament

Sharks & Strikes Bowling Tournament

Join the San Jose Sharks, coaches and broadcasters as “celebrity” bowlers for the inaugural “Sharks & Strikes” charity bowling tournament.

This fun, family-oriented event will benefit the Sharks Foundation’s effort to improve the pediatrics clinic at Valley Health Center Tully, a VMC community clinic.

Gather your family and friends and enjoy a night of bowling with your favorite Sharks, while raising money for a good cause!


Monday, November 14th
5pm – 7:30pm


300 San Jose
5420 Thornwood Drive, San Jose [map]

[button link=”http://sharksfoundation.golfreg.com/” size=”large”]Register here[/button]

Sharks Foundation to fund major transformation of VMC community clinic

Sharks FoundationThe Sharks may raise the Stanley Cup this June and celebrate San Jose’s first-ever major sports championship, but months earlier, the Sharks Foundation are prepared to raise something else: Hope.

In partnership with the VMC Foundation, the Sharks Foundation has made an unprecedented commitment to transform the pediatric clinic at a VMC health center in east San Jose into a Sharks-infused environment that will promote wellness, healthy eating, and physical activity. The center will be rededicated as the San Jose Sharks Pediatric Clinic at VHC Tully after a nearly $100,000 transformation from the Sharks Foundation. The public unveiling will take place in early 2012.

The funds will be used to overhaul the waiting area and exam rooms with Sharks-centric play and learning areas. Custom made graphics featuring the Sharks players and mascot will also promote important health messages created by VMC staff, encouraging kids to eat vegetables, drink water instead of sugar-based drinks, and get their vaccinations.

We are thrilled to partner with the VMC Foundation on this project. Making sure that all children in this community have access to the healthcare they need is a priority of the Sharks. This project will help make sure that happens. ~ Jeff Cafuir, Sharks Foundation manager

VHC Tully is one of VMC’s largest community clinics, providing primary care to nearly 6,000 low-income children per month, regardless of ability to pay. It is part of a county-wide network of clinics operated by VMC that see nearly 1,000,000 patient visits each year. The clinics provide low-income communities with essential access to regular, preventative healthcare. For children, this is especially important. From immunizations to counseling on healthy eating and weight loss, Valley Health Centers are the foundation of the safety net for children in this community.

Missing check-ups, or avoiding the doctor altogether, is a challenge that health advocates face in many low-income communities. Santa Clara County is no exception. With nearly a third of all low-income children in this community at-risk for obesity related illness, and with the high levels of whooping cough and tuberculosis, among other contagious diseases, access to primary care at VHC Tully is crucial to their long-term health.

VHC Tully Clinic Director Carolyn Scaglione, R.N. hopes that the newly designed center will encourage more parents to bring their kids in for routine check-ups and vaccinations.

“It’s going to make our clinic a lot more exciting for kids and parents,” she said. “We are thrilled that the Sharks Foundation is making this investment with us. We feel very fortunate to have them as partners.”

Reducing soda intake…and all that jazz.

Reducing soda intake

Music is more important to me than most things, and for years I’ve served on the Board of Directors of San Jose Jazz. Our Summerfest is the biggest deal in town every August, bringing 100,000 music lovers together for a weekend of celebration and performance. This year’s was maybe the best festival yet…

…and yet, when going over the books at our last board meeting we noticed something odd as compared to last year. Soda sales were off. WAY off. Like 50% down!

Fifty percent.

Ticket sales, beer, food, weekend weather…all similar to 2010. Could our efforts to promote a “Soda-Free Summer” be working? Well, let’s look at some facts:

  • The Bay Area Nutrition and Physical Activity Collaborative (BANPAC, part of the VMC Foundation) has data that shows parents and kids are starting to get the message and reduce soda consumption.
  • There’s been a sharp rise in local media about the dangers of sweetened drinks this year.
  • The American Beverage Association (representing soda makers) recently called Santa Clara County’s anti-soda messages “misleading”. They’re not, and we have reams of data to prove it…but they’re worried, and that’s good.
  • Kaiser Permanente, the biggest supporter of our “Re-Think Your Drink” efforts in Silicon Valley, became a major sponsor of San Jose Jazz’s Summerfest this year!

Yes – this is a big deal. For the first time, KP was a major player in our Jazz Festival, setting up wellness stations around the Salsa Stage (the most physically active of the Summerfest, with non-stop dancing all weekend). They gave away water with fresh lemon to all revelers, promoting a healthier alternative to soda.

My friend, colleague and VMC Foundation Board Member Kathleen King takes all the credit: “My giving up diet soda this year is personally responsible for the decline”, she joked with me yesterday. But she’s on to something: The fight to reduce unhealthy drink intake is going to ultimately be fought one person, one family at a time. And with obesity and diabetes rates still climbing, a fight is exactly what this is. Please, join us—it starting to work!