The Washington Capitals celebrated the NHL’s Hockey is for Everyone month at their game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Hockey is for Everyone Month is an NHL Diversity initiative that is designed to celebrate hockey’s growth and diversity.
As part of the Caps’ Hockey is for Everyone Night, the team presented a check in the amount of $14,000 to the Fort Dupont ice hockey program. Capitals alternate captains Donald Brashear, Alex Ovechkin
and Tom Poti
presented the check to Fort Dupont youth hockey players Willie Bennett and Trevon Banks, the team’s manager, Betty Dean and the founder of the Fort Dupont ice hockey program, Neal Henderson. The check presentation took place at center ice prior to the start of the Capitals game.
The money donated to Fort Dupont came through a grant from The Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation, a nonprofit corporation that contributes financial resources to other nonprofit organizations that focus on helping children in the areas of health, education and inner-city services. Many Capitals players are currently involved with the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation, the official kids’ charity of both the NHL and NHL Players Association.
The Capitals also hosted the Southwest Airlines Hockey is for Everyone Essay contest winners at Tuesday night’s Caps game. Students in grades 7-12 were asked to write a 500-word essay explaining “Why diversity is important.” Essays were received from all around the Washington-metropolitan area with each student describing his or her own unique experiences relating to diversity.
One winner was selected from each grade: seventh-grader Chase Pyke of Windsor Knolls Middle School, eighth-grader Mhawa Sadat of Arundel Middle School, ninth-grader Rebecca Tamiru of Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School, 10th-grader Ryan Arbesfeld of Oakton High School, 11th-grader David Zuckerman of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and 12th-grader Ariel Grant of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. Each student received two round-trip Southwest Airlines plane tickets, a Caps team-signed hockey stick and four tickets to the Capitals’ Hockey is for Everyone Night game. The winners also watched the teams warm up from the penalty box and were recognized on the video board.