The Washington Capitals helped the USA Warriors Hockey Program, Inc. raise $42,266 with their Beard-A-Thon during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Fans who joined the Beard-A-Thon pledged to maintain a beard as long as the Capitals were in the playoffs and raise donations for the cause. Arlington, Va. native Justin Taft raised $7,250 and was the largest fundraiser.
USA Warriors Hockey is a Rockville, Md.-based volunteer organization that encourages men and women disabled during military service to participate in hockey in an environment adapted to their skill level.
"For the Capitals to help local vets like they are doing is awesome," said Jonathan Albrecht, an alternate captain for the Warriors standing team and former Army Infantryman. "This program has helped me continue my life, and I know it's helped a lot of others as well."
Donations are crucial to the Warriors' initiative, as ice time, gear and travel make up three of their greatest expenses. The organization funds both standing and sled hockey, and provides physical and mental rehabilitation for those disabled defending the United States.
"To have a relationship with the Caps, and for them to help us and raise money for us, and for the Caps to support us, we couldn't ask for another organization to help us the way they do," said Ben Harrow, a Warriors sled goalie and former Special Forces Detachment Commander.