By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Jared Woosley has two loves — hockey and music.
He was the lead singer of the now-defunct rock band Fivespeed, which had a deal with Virgin Records in 2006.
Now the Valley man is sharing both of his obsessions with the disabled community through Scottsdale Airpark-based One Step Beyond.
Woosley is the founder and manager of the One Step Coyotes and One Step Sharks, branches of One Step Beyond, which provides skills programs to the disabled community.
“I grew up in a hockey family,” Woosley says. “My dad was a (college hockey) goalie. I was a goalie as well. I went to the U.S. Olympic Training Center when I was 15. After that, I found music and I put a stop on my hockey career. My dad was shattered. With Fivespeed, we had a modestly successful career with Virgin Records. I founded One Step Beyond (music and hockey programs) 12 years ago. I created their music program as well. It’s changed my life.”
One Step Beyond empowers its members to achieve independence, self-sufficiency and employment through innovative culinary, education, fitness and arts programs as well as strategic partnerships with local businesses that enable participants to achieve greater social participation in their communities.
One Step Beyond has four locations in the Valley, including Glendale, Peoria, Scottsdale and Surprise, as well as two locations in the California Bay area: San Mateo and San Carlos.
The core group of participants had family members who were playing hockey and never had the chance or opportunity to enjoy the sport themselves.
“I got together with some of the parents and members of the hockey community and we immediately started looking for hockey gear and ice time,” he says.
“It grew so fast. It wasn’t too long when we grew out of our shoes. The Coyotes came and gave us support and partnered with us. We mirrored the model with the San Jose Sharks.”
The programs are in limbo because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to a ban on contact sports in Santa Clara County, California, NHL’s San Jose Sharks are forced to play their first two scheduled home games at Gila River Arena on February 1 and February 3. The One Step Sharks are unable to play as well.
In the meantime, Woolsey has been fundraising. Recently, One Step Beyond became a beneficiary of the 2020-21 Sharks Foundation Goals for Kids. For each San Jose Sharks goal scored during the season, $1,000 will be given to one of eight organizations dedicated to enhancing the lives of those in need.
“For the entirety of the Sharks season, any goal they score, $1,000 is donated to the running sum of funds,” says Heather Hooper, the Sharks’ director of community relations.
“At the end of the season, the funds are evenly distributed among the eight organizations. So far, the Sharks have scored 19 goals, so that’s about $19,000 for the nonprofits.”
The program is in its seventh year and, to date, the foundation has given more than $1.6 million to local nonprofits. She says it gives fans a different perspective on the games.
“There are financials associated with every goal,” Hooper says. “If there’s an empty net at the end of the game, it just feels different. People think it’s just one extra goal; it doesn’t make that big of a difference. But it certainly does — that’s extra money.”
The One Step Sharks and the One Step Coyotes also received a donation of hockey gear from Bauer. The $5,000 in-kind donation would have dressed five players for the 2020-21 season.
“Bauer is a leading manufacturer of ice hockey equipment,” Woosley says. “To have them as a partner means the world to our team. The recent pandemic has our season on hold, but the players are still working on their skills and looking forward to getting back on the ice. The donation is a light in these uncertain times.”
Woosley also received a $3,000 grant from Subway.
“We’re so close. I don’t think we’re far off from starting the season in the next couple months,” he says. “All of the players are chomping at the bit. In the meantime, we’re just fundraising.”
To donate, visit osbi.org and click on the “donate” button. Donors can restrict the funds to either the Sharks or Coyotes’ hockey programs with a note.
“I’m proud of One Step Beyond,” he says. “It allowed me to follow my passion and share it with my friends. Not many organizations would be so encouraging.”