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Capitals to Host Second Annual Autism Awareness Night

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
Kolzig ceremony, special hockey exhibitions, silent auction highlight Jan. 6 game vs. Atlanta

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals will host their second annual Autism Awareness Night on Saturday, Jan. 6, when they host the Atlanta Thrashers at Verizon Center. The special evening’s highlights will include a pregame on-ice ceremony honoring goaltender Olie Kolzig, intermission games featuring local special hockey teams and a silent auction to benefit Athletes Against Autism.
Kolzig, the longest-tenured athlete in Washington, D.C., is a co-founder of Athletes Against Autism, an initiative of Cure Autism Now. He was honored in June with the NHL’s King Clancy Award for on- and off-ice leadership, and that award will be presented to him again, in front of his home fans, before faceoff against the Thrashers.
“I appreciate the support of my teammates, our fans and the Capitals organization in the fight against autism,” Kolzig said. “Autism Awareness Night was a great success last season, as we established a model that was duplicated in other arenas around the league. It is a terrific way to raise awareness for this maddening disorder.”
In both intermissions of the Capitals’ game against Atlanta groups of special hockey players will participate in games. Meanwhile, a silent auction featuring autographed and game-used memorabilia will take place on the Verizon Center concourse. The silent auction will include Kolzig’s game-used pads, blocker, glove and stick and Alex Ovechkin’s game-used helmet and stick.
Kolzig’s fellow co-founders of Athletes Against Autism will also be in attendance Jan. 6: Atlanta forward Scott Mellanby and former Capitals goaltender Byron Dafoe. All three co-founders will meet with some of the players participating in the intermission games after the Capitals’ game.
The Capitals were the first team in the NHL to host an Autism Awareness Night when, at Kolzig’s suggestion, they held the event Dec. 27, 2005. The event raised $26,000 to benefit the fight against autism.
Full-season tickets, weekend plans and 11-game plans are available and can be purchased through the Caps PowerPay option – monthly payments with no fees or charges. Holiday Gift Packs – two tickets to four preselected games – are also on sale now. Call 202-266-CAPS, email or visit for more information. Single-game tickets are on sale and at
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
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
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
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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