Special guests at Saturday’s Sharks playoff game helped put the team’s 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues in perspective.
The Foley family, who came to San Jose from Canada, attended the game as VIP guests of the Sharks after the team’s general manager, Doug Wilson, heard about their experiences with the devastating Alberta Wildfires.
The close-knit bunch lost everything in the blaze – except their prized Sharks jerseys, which they hastily rescued from their home, leaving almost everything else behind.
“We were at our lowest low when it was confirmed our house was gone,” said Barb Morgan, the mother of the family. “And then we get a call from Doug Wilson and it just lifted our spirits…it gave us something to look forward to.”
The family’s main Sharks fan, Billy Foley, expressed publicly how grateful he was to salvage the jerseys. His most prized is that of Owen Nolan’s, whom he and the rest of the family got to meet thanks to some quick organizing on Wilson’s part.
Billy and his brother, Daniel, also got to ride around the rink in the Zambonis, and were in a prime position to high five and fist bump the Sharks players as the team took to the ice.
“It’s unbelievable,” Billy said. “It’s making this a lot easier to go through and keep our mind off things.”
The family will return to their home in Fort McMurray on June 1 to assess the damages done by the flames.
“As a community, Fort McMurray has always been strong, and we will continue to be strong,” Barb said.