Sharks set for another successful year in the community

Sharks set for another successful year in the community
By Matt Metcalf

The Worcester Sharks, who are first place in the Atlantic Division on the ice, are also leaders off the ice. After a year in which the Sharks won the Community Initiatives Award in the Eastern Conference, they have been extremely active in the community already this season and have several events planned in the future.

Finz Fit Kidz, presented by Saint Vincent Hospital, is in its second year of being a flagship community program for the Worcester Sharks. It targets the youth of Central Massachusetts and promotes the importance of exercise and making healthy choices. The program takes place in a school assembly format throughout the hockey season, making two appearances per month, and reaching out to several different schools and organizations. Each participant will receive an activity sheet and autograph card filled with useful health tips and games courtesy of Saint Vincent Hospital. Several different Sharks players will take part in this event throughout the season. Nick Petrecki, the 2011-2012 AHL Man of the Year for his efforts in the community, will be at the Proctor School in Northborough at 1:15pm on November 20th, preaching to the kids the importance of healthy choices, eating right, and the danger of concussions.

Reading is Cool, which is a flagship community program of the Sharks along with Finz Fit Kidz, is in their 7th year of operation, focusing this year on second grade students. This program has been a mainstay for the Sharks since day one, impacting up to 10,000 children. More than 110 classrooms and 2,600 students from in and around Worcester are currently enrolled in the program. Each student receives an “I got caught reading” sticker, along with a Sharks ticket voucher courtesy of Sharks Charities. Reading is Cool also provides incentives for children, giving away free tickets and pizza parties at Sharks games, depending on how much you read. Hanover Insurance is in their first year as the primary sponsor for this program, which makes two appearances per month. Their next two appearances include November 19th at Abby Kelley Foster Charter School in Worcester and December 3rd at Peaslee Elementary School in Northborough. On November 19th, Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse will read to students at Abby Kelley Foster and then take pictures and sign autographs for the kids.

Skate with the Sharks is a popular program where fans actually get the chance to skate and interact with their favorite Sharks players. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Skate with the Sharks was voted the most popular Sharks Community Event in a poll. The next upcoming event for Skate with the Sharks is November 27th. Following a Sharks practice at the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg, there will be an open skate for fans with Sharks players, sponsored by Twin City. There will be four more of these throughout the season, with the next one taking place on January 9th at the North Star Youth Forum, sponsored by Starhawks Youth Hockey. There will also be a post skate dinner at Not Your Average Joe’s in Westborough following the open skate.

Give Moore for the Holidays is another popular community event involving the whole Sharks team. This program allows the Sharks to provide Christmas gifts for families in need. This year, Matt Irwin and newcomer Bracken Kearns have taken control of the event. The Sharks are looking for another successful year with this program, raising over $5,000 in the last five years. This event will take place on December 16th in partnership with the Rainbow Child Development Center of Worcester, which is a child-care organization and is a non-profit agency that is funded by United Way. The children and their families will attend the Sharks game on December 16th against the Portland Pirates and, following the game, there is a Christmas celebration with the families and the team, where the players will present toys to the children.

Stay up to date with future community events on To get in touch regarding any community event, you can reach the Sharks at 508-929-0500.

  • St. Vincent Hospital
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