ARLINGTON, Va. - Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation hosted more than 100 students, mentors and parents from Best Buddies Capital Region at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on March 20.
The students, mentors and parents were joined on the ice by Kim Trotz, wife of Capitals head coach Barry Trotz, as well as Red Rockers from the Washington Capitals and Valorettes from the Washington Valor. They enjoyed an hour long skating session where you could see the bond between the Best Buddies students and mentors flourish. Whether they were holding onto the side rails while making a lap around the rink or showcasing their backward skating ability, all of the participants had smiles on their faces. Those who did not skate enjoyed the unique opportunity of sitting on the Capitals' practice bench, interacting with those who skated and enjoying time with friends and family. Afterwards, they were treated to sandwiches, chips and cookies donated by Subway. View Photo Gallery
"Events like this community skate highlight the friendships our students enjoy, as well as the abilities of all of our participants, whether they have an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) or not," said Karen Glass, the regional director Best Buddies Capital Region. "It's so much fun to watch our teenagers being teenagers, and it means the world to the parents of students with IDD to see their children included in the typical activities so many of us take for granted."
She continued, "We are very lucky because coach Trotz arrived in in Washington, D.C., having already helped to open the Nashville office of Best Buddies, and he and his family continue to be tremendous champions of our mission and programs. Over the past two years, the Washington Capitals have become an integral partner and we are so grateful for their passion and support."
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the professional teams under its umbrella: the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Valor and Wizards and Baltimore Brigade. MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact and engagement with the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness.
Best Buddies Capital Region manages nearly 50 School Friendship programs which match students with and without disabilities in meaningful one-to-one friendships. Their Jobs program (supported employment) serves 23 participants in various stages of job development, active training and follow along services, and their Ambassador program has helped train more than 150 Buddy Ambassadors in speech writing and public speaking so that they may become advocates for inclusion and disability rights. They are planning to open a Citizens program which will allow adults in the community, with and without disabilities, to be matched in one-to-one friendships, and are hosting the Best Buddies Prom - a student prom and simultaneous adult party - to raise funds for that program. For more information visit www.bestbuddiesprom.org.