Two years after losing four-month old daughter Aubri to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), former Sharks forward Curtis Brown and his wife Ami founded the Aubri Brown Club in 2007, in order to help families dealing with the sudden loss of a child.
“We just found that experiencing our own loss, we saw ways that some weren’t being supported," Brown, who is currently a Sharks analyst with NBC Sports California, said Monday. "And that’s essentially why we raise money and awareness: To try to be there, ready and able to help families when they need us.”
Brown told his friend Jonathan Smith, who had philanthropic experience, his "hopes and dreams" for the foundation. Smith pledged to help, and founded the "It's Not About The Golf" tournament, which just held its ninth annual fundraiser at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links on Monday.
The event, which featured a golf tournament during the day and a live auction later that night, included over 200 golfers and raised over $200,000, Brown told NBC Sports California on Tuesday. That's a far cry from the first one which "barely could fill 18 holes" and raised between $15,000-$20,000, according to Smith.
In all, the fundraisers have raised a total of $2 million for the Aubri Brown Club, Smith said. The raised funds are used to cover the costs of counseling, as well as funeral and medical bills.
In the last year, the Aubri Brown Club supported 41 families, Ami Brown told attendees on Monday.
"Ami and Curtis went through something that not very many parents want to go through," former Sharks forward Jonathan Cheechoo said. "For them to step up and do this I think helps a lot of families out, and makes their loss more manageable."
Cheechoo, who played with Brown in 2004 and from 2006-08, was part of a strong San Jose contingent at the event. Sharks rookie Dylan Gambrell, ex-Sharks Douglas Murray and Owen Nolan, and San Jose broadcasters Randy Hahn, Bret Hedican, and Dan Rusanowsky also participated.
Jonathan Cheechoo with the fist pump after sinking his par putt. pic.twitter.com/Ytf0Gyrdj1— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) August 20, 2018
Douglas Murray flexin’ after his chip 💪 pic.twitter.com/8NoTF3tFJs— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) August 20, 2018