When the ArenaBowl XXIV Champion Jacksonville Sharks defeated the Iowa Barnstormers on Saturday, May 19, it was not only the team that emerged with a victory. On Military Appreciation Night, the Sharks and Taco Bell helped raise $30,151 to be donated to the Armed Forces Families Foundation. The Sharks will formally present their donation to AFFF during the team’s Saturday, July 14 game against the Orlando Predators.
from AFFF announced that the Sharks’ contribution will be used to
directly support the foundation’s current project at Naval Air Station
Jacksonville. This initiative includes the construction of two
age-appropriate playgrounds, a renovation of the facility’s family
pavilion and the addition of electricity and other amenities to the
year’s Military Appreciation Night was a tremendous success,” Sharks
Partner and Air Force Veteran Larry Payne said. “Thanks to the
generosity of our fans and our partnership with Taco Bell, our
contribution to AFFF will directly benefit many of the service personnel
in our local community.”
large portion of the donation came courtesy of the team’s postgame
jersey auction. The Sharks wore unique digital camouflage jerseys on
Military Appreciation Night, and following the game each player’s jersey
was auctioned during the on-field postgame autograph session.
the auction, the Sharks spearheaded a number of other initiatives to
increase the impact of the event. At SharkFest before the game, the team
offered special Military Appreciation Night t-shirts in exchange for a
small donation. The shirts sold out prior to the start of the game. The
Attack Dance Team also accepted donations as they autographed their new
military posters as fans entered the arena.
from the auction and pregame initiatives totaled $18,021. In addition,
Taco Bell aided the Sharks in boosting Military Appreciation Night by
giving fans the opportunity to donate in exchange for a coupon for a
free taco. Between all participating restaurant locations and Taco
Bell’s display at SharkFest, this specific initiative generated an
Sharks’ owners, support staff and players have been incredibly positive
and supportive of this effort to help local military families,” local
Taco Bell franchisee Thaddeus Foster said. “Their fans are amazing, and
their support has made all the difference in completing this project.”
added that the partnership with the Sharks was the most successful
partnership that Taco Bell has had since beginning work with AFFF.