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Capitals Host Autism Awareness Night

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Team Raises Nearly $13,000 for Charity

Washington, D.C. – December 31, 2005 – The Washington Capitals, in conjunction with Athletes Against Autism, Cure Autism Now and the American Special Hockey Association, hosted Autism Awareness Night at their game against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at MCI Center. Ticket sales and a silent auction helped raise nearly $13,000 for the fight against autism, while a pair of on-ice events were featured to raise awareness about the disorder.


altThe Caps held a silent auction featuring game-used equipment such as goaltender Olie Kolzig’s catching glove, blocker and stick; left wing Alex Ovechkin’s skates, gloves and stick; captain Jeff Halpern’s stick; and left wing Ben Clymer’s skates. The auction raised $12,874 for Athletes Against Autism, an initiative of Cure Autism Now that was founded by Kolzig to raise awareness and funds for autism research, treatment and family support programs. Ovechkin’s skates raised the most money with a bid of $3,600.

“I am thrilled with the success of Autism Awareness Night,” said Kolzig, whose son, Carson, is autistic. “We raised money and awareness for a very important cause. I am also proud that the Caps were the first team to hold this type of event, and look forward to other teams following suit.”

Autism Awareness Night also featured a pre-game youth hockey game with special hockey players and a special hockey scrimmage during one of the intermissions. A portion of the proceeds from all tickets purchased through http://tix.washingtoncapitals.com/cureautismnow were donated to Athletes Against Autism, Cure Autism Now and the American Special Hockey Association. Kolzig also hosted a group that had won the chance to meet the goaltender after the game through a Cure Autism Now auction.

About Athletes Against Autism
Athletes Against Autism was founded by a group of athletes, touched by autism, who are harnessing their efforts into one voice in order to raise awareness and funds for autism research, treatment and family support programs. For more information about Athletes Against Autism, visit www.athletesagainstautism.org.

About Cure Autism Now
Cure Autism Now is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and funding autism research and accelerating the pace of scientific progress toward effective treatments and a cure for autism. The organization is one of the leading private funders of biomedical research in autism, providing more than $25 million for research grants, education, outreach and scientific resources, including the establishment and ongoing support of the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). Cure Autism Now has chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hawaii, Houston, Los Angeles, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C./Baltimore. For more information about Cure Autism Now, visit www.cureautismnow.org.

About American Special Hockey Association
Special Hockey exists for the enrichment of the athlete with a developmental disability. In addition to physical hockey skills, the program emphasizes the development of desirable individual characteristics such as dependability, self-reliance, concentration, willingness to share and personal accountability. The game of hockey is used by Special Hockey to develop within each player the characteristics that will help the player to be more successful both inside and outside a hockey
environment. For more information about American Special Hockey Association, visit www.americanspecialhockey.org.

About Autism
Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that now affects an estimated one in every 166 children in the United States. Autism is commonly diagnosed by the age three, and in some cases, as early as one year. Characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, children with autism can exhibit symptoms that run from mild to severe with widely differing symptom profiles.
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