October 2011 Community Award - Laura and Larry Leavitt
Having spent most of their lives here, the Bay Area is where Larry and Laura Leavitt call home. Hockey fans long before the Sharks came to town, the Leavitt's immediately developed a passion for the Sharks and have enjoyed watching them blossom into one of the elite teams in NHL.
Successful business owners in the soda industry, the Leavitt's make it a point to give to those less fortunate and have been one of the Sharks Foundation's biggest supporters over the years.
Why do you support the Sharks Foundation?
We're firm believers in giving back to the community. We sat down and made a list of charities and organizations we wanted to donate to if we had the means, and the Sharks Foundation fit well into our criteria. Being big Sharks fans, we began by bidding on auction items during home games. That allowed us to both display our love for the team and help a good cause. After doing more research on everything the Sharks Foundation does for the community, we thought to ourselves, "how could we not?"
How do you help the community besides supporting the Sharks Foundation?
We try to support several causes that fit with our passions. In the past we've supported several State Parks, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Dogs for the Deaf in Oregon, and the San Diego Wildlife Association, to name a few. We're always amazed at how much goes on behind the scenes and how much volunteers do to help these organizations.
What is your most memorable Sharks moment?
We've had many great Sharks memories over the years, but meetings the players always leaves a lasting Impression. They're really just regular, nice guys that are really good at hockey.
We won the chance to have dinner with Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray at an auction last year, and it was one of our most memorable moments. Driving home from the experience, we said to each other, "was that not one of the best nights of our lives?" It was great to see these players so humble…they are great people"
What advice do you have for Sharks fans looking to make a difference in the community?
We feel blessed to have a healthy family and we recognize that there are a lot of people that don't have the resources that we have. Because there are so many charities in our area, it's sometimes hard to make decisions as to where to donate your money and you worry if it's being used in the right way. With the Sharks Foundation, we're confident in their decision making and that makes it easier to give to them. The Sharks Foundation allows us to connect our two passions of giving back and cheering on the Sharks.