Inclusion on Ice

Special Olympics Northern California athletes celebrate a $10,000 grant with a night out at the San Jose Sharks

The NHL and San Jose Sharks presented Special Olympics Northern California with a check for a combined $10,000 on Thursday afternoon as part of the NHL Centennial Fan Arena at the SAP Center.

Special Olympics Northern California was awarded the NHL Diversity & Inclusion grant of $5,000, which was matched by the Sharks Foundation for a $10,000 total. Sharks representatives presented the check to Special Olympics Northern California COO Ilisa Kessler and more than a dozen Special Olympics athletes from Santa Clara County.

The grant will be used to support the Special Olympics Northern California floor hockey program, which recently participated in an interactive floor hockey game with Sharks players, coaches, announcers and staff. Special Olympics athletes were also invited to stay for the Sharks evening game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, where a video from the recent charity game was displayed at halftime. Athletes received Sharks jerseys, swag and witnessed an exciting 2-1 home team victory!


Prior to the game, Special Olympics athletes enjoyed the festivities of the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, hosted directly outside the SAP Center, which included games, virtual reality simulators and a memorabilia exhibit highlighting 100 years of NHL history. The athletes also had the opportunity to pose for a photo with the Stanley Cup.

Check out Facebook and Twitter @SONorCal for more photos & video from the event. Learn more about the sports programs available in Santa Clara County and how you can help support Special Olympics Northern California.   

Santa Clara County Sports Program