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Capitals Raise More Than $2.5 Million for Charity During 2018-19 Season

Caps supported numerous causes throughout the season

by Washington Capitals @capitals / WashingtonCaps.com

During the 2018-19 season, the Washington Capitals, its players and Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation (MSE Foundation) raised more than $2.5 million in support of charitable organizations across the Washington, D.C., region.

Highlights include:

 

KaBOOM! Design Day

In September Capitals forward Tom Wilson visited Bright Beginnings, a learning center for children and families experiencing homelessness. During the visit Wilson read a storybook and participated in a playground designing session with local children. MSE Foundation partnered with KaBOOM! to fund a new playground at Bright Beginnings in November.

Video: 2018 KaBOOM! Playground Build 

Wish Experience

The Capitals granted the wish of 17-year-old wish kid Hunter Shrauger in October. Hunter has a life-threating gastrointestinal disorder, and his wish to meet the team came true through Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. On Oct. 2, Shrauger was introduced to the team following practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. On Oct. 3, he walked the red carpet with captain Alex Ovechkin during the team's home opener Rock the Red Carpet event.

Video: Make-A-Wish | Hunter Shrauger 

Casino Night

Hundreds of Caps fans helped MSE Foundation and the Washington Capitals raise $404,428 for charity at the eighth Capitals Casino Night presented by Salamander Hotels & Resorts on Oct. 14 at MGM National Harbor. Casino Night featured the entire team participating in casino games with fans. There also was a drawing and silent auction featuring game-used equipment and autographed memorabilia as well as a live auction featuring interactive experiences with Capitals players.

Video: 2018-19 Capitals Casino Night

American Special Hockey Skate

More than 80 players from American Special Hockey Association programs had the opportunity to skate with and learn from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin when he hosted a skating session at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in October. The event marked the fifth consecutive season Ovechkin has hosted ASHA for a skating or street hockey event. 

Video: Ovechkin's American Special Hockey Association Skate 

Hockey Fights Cancer

The Washington Capitals teamed up with the NHL and FORTUNE 500® science and technology company Leidos in November to educate the hockey community about cancer through Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month. The Capitals Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Nov. 9 featured a ceremonial puck drop, video tributes and other Hockey Fights Cancer related themes throughout the evening. In addition, the 2018-19 Washington Capitals team hosted a Hockey Fights Cancer skate with Casey Cares, Flashes of Hope, Hope for Henry, Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Nov. 10. The team's Hockey Fights Cancer campaign raised nearly $131,000 for charity.  

Video: CBJ@WSH: Linda Laughlin drops first puck on HFC night 

So Kids Can

Washington Capitals players and So Kids Can members Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby and Tom Wilson surprised Washington, D.C.'s Hendley Elementary in November with the announcement that the school will receive So Kids Can funding at the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. The more than $60,000 raised this season will be used for a So Kids Can and Heart of America Foundation® makeover of the school's gymnasium. The Heart of America Foundation®, a national nonprofit headquartered in the Washington, D.C., Metro area, transforms spaces into modern learning environments so that students and communities can learn and grow.

Video: So Kids Can Surprises DCPS Elementary School 

Team Hospital Visit

The 2018-19 Washington Capitals team visited patients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in December. During the party hosted by Hope For Henry, players divided into groups and visited children who were either hospitalized or receiving out-patient treatment. Hope for Henry is reinventing how hospitals care for seriously ill children and their families through innovative programs that entertain, reduce stress and empower children to be active participants in their own care. Players also participated in a Flashes of Hope photo shoot with patients and their families. Flashes of Hope is a national nonprofit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research and changes the way children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography.

Video: 2018 Holiday MedStar Hospital Visit

Black Girl Hockey Club

In December the Capitals hosted the Black Girl Hockey Club for their inaugural meetup. The mission of Black Girl Hockey Club is to develop and sustain passion for the game of hockey within the Black community, specifically with mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. Pregame, the club met with Capitals owner Earl Stafford and participated in a Q&A with on-ice officials. Postgame, the club met with several Capitals players.

Video: Black Girls Hockey Club at Capital One Arena 

Wish Upon A Par

Select Capitals players and their significant others participated in the annual "Wish Upon A Par" on Jan. 13 at Top Golf Loudoun in Ashburn, Va. Coordinated by Brooks and Erin Orpik, the event raised more than $100,000 for Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic. Wish Upon A Par offered fans the chance to bid to spend time with a favorite player. One hundred percent of proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic.

 Video: 2019 Wish Upon A Par

Metro Maple Leafs

In January Capitals players invited the Metro Maple Leafs to a Capitals game upon learning of an incident that occurred with 13-year-old Maple Leafs player Divyne Apollon. Apollon faced racial taunts during a Metro Maple Leafs game, prompting his teammates to stand up for him. The Metro Maple Leafs met with Capitals players in the Capitals locker room following the Jan. 14 game. 

Video: The Metro Maple Leafs Visit the Caps 

UAE Team Visit

In conjunction with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways, the Washington Capitals hosted the United Arab Emirates Women's National Hockey Team in Washington, D.C., from Feb. 2 through Feb. 6. On Feb. 4, the team hosted a workshop with female players from the American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The team also gifted equipment to ASHA, advancing its mission to make hockey more accessible to athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The UAE Women's National Team and ASHA players also attended the Capitals game versus the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 5, where they were recognized in-game.

Video: UAE Women's Hockey Clinic 

Military Night

The Washington Capitals hosted their 17th annual Salute to the Military Night on Feb. 7 during the game against the Colorado Avalanche at Capital One Arena. Salute to the Military Night is an evening dedicated to honoring the men and women who have served the country in the armed forces. More than 500 service members attended the game. During pregame warm-ups the Capitals wore camouflage jerseys, which were signed and auctioned off by MSE Foundation. MSE Foundation raised $57,350 for United Heroes League and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) through a Military Night auction.

 

Fort Dupont

Capitals players hosted the Fort Dupont Cannons at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in February for an Official Rink Partner visit driven by AAA. During the event, they presented the Cannons with a $18,000 check on behalf of MSE Foundation made possible by a grant from the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation. Fort Dupont Ice Arena is the only full-size indoor ice arena in Washington, D.C., and the Cannons are the oldest minority youth hockey program in North America.

Video: Fort Dupont Rink Skate

Caps and TAPS

Several Capitals players met with families from Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) following the team's Military Night game on Feb. 7. TAPS is a nonprofit organization that provides comfort and care for anyone who is grieving the death of someone who died while serving in the military.

 

Dreams for Kids

For the ninth-consecutive year, the Washington Capitals and MSE Foundation teamed up with Dreams for Kids DC to host an Extreme Recess Hockey Clinic at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in February. During the clinic, Capitals players skated and played hockey with nearly 100 children with physical and developmental disabilities. Dreams For Kids DC organizes life-changing activities that empower children with physical and developmental disabilities to unite with their peers and realize their full potential. Their clinics pair each child with a volunteer so every child is engaged effectively as they participate in sports, often for the very first time.

Video: Dreams For Kids Skate 2019 

Pride Auction

MSE Foundation raised $18,300 for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation through a Pride-themed auction that concluded Feb. 11 during the Capitals vs. Kings game. Led by goaltender Braden Holtby, select players signed sticks wrapped in rainbow-color 'Pride Tape' and rainbow Caps pucks. All proceeds benefited the HRC Foundation's Youth Well-Being Project to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth in Washington, D.C. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation improves the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people by working to increase understanding and encourage the adoption of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.

USA Warriors Standing Tournament

In February the Capitals partnered with the USA Warriors to host the Tampa Warriors, Rochester Warriors and Pittsburgh Warthogs for a tournament at MedStar Capitals Iceplex in partnership with LiUNA. Each participating team was comprised of veterans wounded in defense of the United States. As part of the tournament, Capitals alumnus Clint Malarchuk gave a speech to the players regarding his experience with PTSD.

Video: LiUNA Standing Warriors Tournament 

Black History Month

The Capitals hosted the National Hockey League's Black Hockey History Tour, a uniquely curated mobile museum, at the Embassy of Canada from Feb. 25-27. The 525-square foot museum, presented by American Legacy, presented 200 years of black achievement in hockey. The Capitals' Feb. 26 game vs. Ottawa marked the organization's Black History in Hockey theme night, honoring diversity and inclusion in hockey with tributes throughout the game.

Congressional Hockey Challenge

Capitals players Pheonix Copley and Matt Niskanen participated in a ceremonial puck drop at the 2019 Congressional Hockey Challenge in February. The 11th annual event, a charity hockey game pitting Lawmakers, Administration officials and Congressional staff against Lobbyists from a variety of industries and interests, raised more than $200,000 for charity. 

Video: 2019 Congressional Hockey Challenge 

College Hockey Combine & Fair

In March the Capitals hosted the annual College Hockey Combine & Fair, driven by AAA. The event served as an educational platform that provided over 120 high school student-athletes to explore the options for continuing their educational and hockey careers at the collegiate level. The event included on-ice and off-ice combine testing, a traditional college fair with opportunities for student-athletes to meet with coaches and representatives from over 25 collegiate hockey programs, and an informational parent/guardian panel, driven by AAA, discussing college financial aid and admissions.

Video: 2019 College Hockey Combine & Fair 

Coaches Day

In March the Capitals and head coach Todd Reirden extended a unique opportunity to local youth hockey coaches by hosting Coaches Day at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The event welcomed more than 70 18U, 16U and 14U coaches from high schools and programs throughout the Washington, D.C., metro area for a coaching seminar with Reirden and members of the Capitals coaching staff. The discussed provided coaches with tools to succeed as leaders and mentors both on and off the ice. Reirden addressed topics including how to establish relationships with players, building a team identity and molding players for positive performance in the game and life.

Video: 2019 Caps Coaches Day 

Captain's Brunch

The Capitals hosted the third annual Captain's Brunch, driven by AAA, in March at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. More than 60 local high school captains from the MAGHL, MAPHL, MSHL, NVSHL, CSHL, and WCAC joined the Capitals for morning skate and were recognized for their leadership throughout their high school career. The event included a congratulatory and leadership speech from Capitals head coach Todd Reirden. The brunch was hosted by Washington Capitals NHL Analyst and former Capitals forward Alan May. All attendees were presented with a commemorative captain's coin and miniature tool kit.

Video: Captain's Brunch 

Learn to Play

In conjunction with the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Players' Association, the Washington Capitals hosted the third season of Future Caps Learn to Play at several area rinks. Each participating rink provided affordable Future Caps Learn to Play programming with the goal of increasing participation in ice hockey. Open to first-time participants, the Future Caps Learn to Play initiative provided free head-to-toe equipment to children ages five to nine in an effort to reduce cost barriers associated with an introductory program. The Future Caps Learn to Play program introduced 1,200 new participants to the sport of hockey during the 2018-19 season and has introduced over 4,500 new participants since program inception in 2016.

Video: Learn to Play Equipment Fitting 

Washington Capitals Alumni Association Scholarship

In 2019, the Washington Capitals Alumni Association (WCAA), in coordination with MSE Foundation and the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association (PVAHA), awarded the second-annual Washington Capitals Alumni Association Scholarships, five scholarships totaling $25,000 to high school student athletes within the region. Each receipt, one from each of the five high school hockey leagues, received a $5,000 scholarship to be put towards their college expenses. The scholarship is open to high school hockey student-athletes and awarded based on academic and hockey achievements, as well as character.

Hockey School

The Capitals hosted 42 Hockey Schools throughout the region during the 2018-19 season, reaching more than 5,200 children. The Hockey School program introduces second- through sixth-grade students to the sport of street hockey and is a free program designed to be instructional, interactive and fun.

BCPS Partnership

During the 2018-2019 season, through a partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools (City Schools), and Baltimore City Recreation & Parks (BCRP) the Washington Capitals introduced hockey to more than 75,000 students across more than 150 schools through a multi-week street-hockey curriculum. the Capitals provided every elementary, middle, and high school P.E. teacher in the city with hockey skills training from the Washington Capitals community relations and youth hockey staff. The Capitals will also provide all schools as well as 42 recreation centers with a full set of branded street hockey equipment.

The programming is part of the Capitals' investment of more than $3.5 million toward the development of youth hockey in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and is funded primarily by the National Hockey League's Industry Growth Fund (IGF).

Video: 8th Annual Baltimore Street Hockey Tournament 

MCPS Partnership

The Washington Capitals and Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) announced a partnership in April through which the Washington Capitals will introduce hockey to more than 110,000 students across the county's 180 elementary and middle schools. The multi-week street hockey curriculum will be made available to all teachers starting in the 2019-20 school year.

The programming, which will become a core unit in the physical education curriculum, is part of the Capitals' investment of more than $3.5 million toward the development of youth hockey in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and is funded primarily by the National Hockey League's Industry Growth Fund (IGF).

Video: MCPS Street Hockey Curriculum 

Blazers Auction

A Washington Capitals Better Halves auction featuring playoffs blazers raised more than $20,000 for Safe Shores - The DC Children's Advocacy Center. The jackets were modeled after blazers Capitals better halves wore in honor of the playoffs and feature 'Capitals' embroidered on the back. Safe Shores provides intervention, hope and healing for children and families affected by abuse, trauma and violence in the District of Columbia, and prevents child abuse through education and training.

 

MSE Foundation Grants

MSE Foundation provided a number of grants during the 2018-19 season. Recipients included DC Central Kitchen, Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, KaBOOM!, Leveling the Playing Field, Martha's Table, Playworks of Greater Washington, Positive Coaching Alliance, Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association and Up2Us Sports.

Community Drives

The Capital's fall Food Drive supported by Giant saw 668 pounds of food donated, equivalent to 556 meals. The team's December toy drive resulted in 1,100 toys and nearly $1,000 in donations.

Holiday Card Auction

The Caps Better Halves sold greeting cards designed by select players to raise money for The Shoebox Project and Martha's Table. The original drawings were autographed, framed and auctioned off to raise additional money.

 

First Responders

In advance of the Capital's First Responders Night in January, the Capitals hosted police and fire officials at a practice. Following practice, they were invited to take a photograph with the team. A portion of the game's proceeds benefited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Video: First Responders Attend Capitals Practice 

Canine Causes 

Capitals players participated in the 2019 Capitals Canine Calendar. Players were photographed with their dogs, as well as dogs available for adoption through Homeward Trails. The 2019 Caps Canine Calendar raised more than $177,000 for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Homeward Trails is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides pet adoption in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. In addition, the Capitals launched Caps Canines, a membership club that offers dog owners an opportunity to get involved with the team through exclusive pet merchandise and special pet-friendly events. Caps Canines hosted multiple adoption days during the season with Homeward Trails, including an event in February during which forward Nic Dowd volunteered.

Video: 2019 Caps Canine Calendar Shoot 

Forty Three's Friends

Capitals forward Tom Wilson donated four tickets per game across 20 games to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic children and their families during the 2018-19 season as part of Forty Three's Friends. Following each game, Wilson met and spent time with the ticket recipients, who participated in Forty Three's Friends while waiting for their wish to be granted due to medical delays or scheduling restrictions.

Video: Forty Three's Friends 

Dowd's Crowd

Capitals forward Nic Dowd, along with his wife, Paige, launched Dowd's Crowd during the 2018-19 season. The Dowds donated tickets to select games to families affiliated with Autism Speaks. The families were given sensory kits at the game, designed to support individuals with sensory needs. Postgame, the Dowds met with ticket recipients.

To learn more about the Capitals' community efforts, visit WashCaps.com and MonumentalFoundation.org.

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