ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals forward Joel Ward participated in a practice with children from the Fort Dupont Kids on Ice and Cannons programs and presented the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Program with a $12,000 check on behalf of Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation on Feb. 24.
The funds were raised by the Washington Capitals through Top Shelf Teammates, the hockey division of the Garth Brooks/Troy Aikman Teammates for Kids Foundation. Through Top Shelf Teammates, players contribute a pre-determined sum based on selected on-ice performance categories such as goals scored or team wins. Every dollar contributed by players is tripled through an affiliation with other donors.
In 2013, Washington Capitals players Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, Mike Green, Jack Hillen, Braden Holtby, Marcus Johansson, Steven Oleksy, Aaron Volpatti, Joel Ward and Tom Wilson participated in Top Shelf Teammates.
Through Teammates for Kids, the Washington Capitals have donated $87,000 to the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Program since 2004.
“The Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Program does a great job developing hockey players,” said Ward. “Practicing with the Cannons and Kids on Ice is always a great experience, and the Capitals are proud to support Fort Dupont through Teammates for Kids.”
The event was held in conjunction with the Capitals celebration of Hockey is for Everyone™ Month, a league-wide initiative that offers children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey and leverages the sport as a catalyst to teach essential life skills and the core values of hockey: commitment, perseverance and teamwork.
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.
Founded in 1978 by Neal Henderson, the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Program (FDIHP) is a development program that provides local and inner-city youth in Washington, D.C., the opportunity to participate in an organized ice hockey program. The FDIHP is the oldest ice hockey program that is a member of the Hockey is for Everyone initiative. The program’s goal is to teach young people discipline, self-esteem, a sense of purpose and to offer an incentive to excel academically. The benefits of such a program extend far beyond the rink – a vast majority of the children who have participated in the FDIHP have continued on to higher education and are confident, productive citizens.