– Washington Capitals forwards Jeff Halpern
and Mike Knuble
– both American players – hosted 100 members of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) for a skating party and lunch at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Nov. 7.
Mike Buchen, president and CEO of SKYDEX Technologies and Bonnie Carroll, president and founder of TAPS, were on hand for the event along with families who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan. The day started off with the group watching the Capitals morning practice while they ate lunch followed by an hour-long skating session with Halpern and Knuble.
“The people in the military and their families do so much for others that it’s nice to have them here and watch them have fun skating,” Halpern said.
“This is a great event that I’m honored to be a part of this year,” Knuble said. “I like getting the opportunity to talk to all of the kids and the parents that come out.”
“When faced with grief and loss, it takes courage sometimes to reach out and express concern and care," said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS founder and president. "TAPS is honored to partner with the Washington Capitals and SKYDEX for the Courage Caps campaign. Their support for the surviving families of our fallen military is helping so many who are coping with the death of someone who served in the Armed Forces.”
This season TAPS is the beneficiary of Courage Caps presented by SKYDEX Technologies, the leading innovator in protective products for the U.S. military. Courage Caps and T-shirts will go on sale beginning Nov. 12, when the Capitals host the New Jersey Devils.
"SKYDEX has been proud to sponsor Caps programs, because the Caps do so much for our men and women in uniform," said Buchen. "We're especially proud to be sponsoring the Courage Caps campaign to benefit TAPS. SKYDEX is all about protecting America's warriors and saving lives. TAPS is all about helping loved ones those whose lives are shattered when a warrior makes the ultimate sacrifice. There is no more honorable or more important work."
Courage Caps is in its fifth season and has raised nearly $140,000 for charity in its first four years, including a record number $46,837 last season. Courage Caps are team-issued and branded hats that will be sold through December at Capitals home games, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and online at WashingtonCaps.com with 100% of the proceeds benefiting TAPS, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the families of the fallen. TAPS provides comfort and care for anyone who has suffered the loss of a military loved one.
Courage Caps and Courage T-shirts will be sold for $20 online at WashingtonCaps.com, at the Washington Capitals Team Store at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and at the Fan Gear store and at stands throughout Verizon Center during Capitals home games. There will also be a limited number of autographed Courage Caps and T-shirts available for sale at WashingtonCaps.com and at the community relations table located behind section 104 on the main concourse at Verizon Center. For $50 fans can purchase a Courage Cap or T-shirt signed by Nicklas Backstrom
, Mike Green
, Alex Ovechkin
, Alexander Semin
or Tomas Vokoun
; for $35, fans can purchase a Courage Cap or T-shirt signed by any other individual Capitals player.