Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals Make Ellie’s Wish Come True
/ Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic to grant 18-year-old Eleanor (Ellie) Carney her wish to meet the Caps captain. Ellie, a native Washingtonian who was born with Oral-Facial-Digital Syndrome Type 1 (OFD1), attended the Caps game against the Rangers on Nov. 25 with her 16-year-old sister Emily, parents Margaret and Stephen and wish manager Tracy Langois.
After being dropped off at Verizon Center in a limousine, the Carneys were greeted by Caps staff members who presented Ellie with a goody bag containing an Ovechkin jersey and calendar, a foam 8, a Capitals sweatshirt, T-shirts, a hat and scarf and plenty of other Caps memorabilia. Ellie and Emily were then escorted to the visiting team penalty box where they watched the teams warm up from ice level. From there Ellie got to see the Caps players up close and met announcer Wes Johnson, who chatted with her and let her sit next to him at the scorer’s table as he made announcements. Ellie was thrilled when a member of the Rangers flipped a puck into the penalty box for her.
When the teams cleared the ice, Ellie and Emily rejoined their parents and headed to the owner’s suite to meet Ted Leonsis. Leonsis and his wife, Lynn, talked with the family and took photos with them. As the game was about to start, the Carneys set off to the suite where they would watch the game.
Shortly before the end of the second period, Ellie prepared to ride the Olympia Ice-Resurfacer during the intermission. Ellie and her family headed down to the event level, passing the Georgetown, Wizards, Mystics and Capitals locker rooms. Ellie didn’t seem nervous at all as she jumped onto the Olympia and headed out to the ice. While on the ice, Ellie was formally welcomed and introduced to the crowd by Johnson and she even appeared on the video board. A smiling Ellie waved to the crowd as she helped resurface the ice. On the way back to their seats, the Carneys took photos in front of the Capitals locker room.
While the outcome of the game didn’t go as Ellie had hoped, she was extremely excited that Ovechkin scored – it was his first goal of the season at Verizon Center. After the game, Ellie and her family were once again escorted to the event level, this time to a locker room where they were going to meet Ovechkin. Shortly after the Carneys arrived, Ovechkin stopped by to meet the family. He gave Ellie a hug and introduced himself to her family members. He then signed autographs for everyone and took photos with Ellie and her family. Before heading to Buffalo, where the team had a game the next night, Ovechkin did an interview with Ellie by his side where he said how honored he was to be able to meet her. After a long and exciting day, Ellie and her family headed home where they could finally get some rest.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded in 1980 when a group of caring volunteers helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world.
For more information about the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, including how you can help refer a local child from Maryland, Northern Virginia, Delaware or the District of Columbia for a wish as well as sponsor a wish or donate in-kind gifts of goods, services or airline frequent flier miles, please call (301) 962-9474 or visit www.midatlantic.wish.org.