Washington Capitals Spotlight

The Washington Capitals strive for success both on and off the ice. As a professional sports franchise with deep roots in and around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, the Capitals are committed to making a difference in the local community. It is their goal not only to build an excellent team with positive role models for young people, but also to create and maintain community programs that encourage participation in hockey, serve to educate today’s youth and assist those in need. Capitals players strive to be role models in the community, and through their work in many different community-driven programs, players are active toward causes nearest to their own hearts. 


Dowd’s Crowd- Starting in 2018, Nic and Paige Dowd created Dowd’s Crowd to provide the opportunity for a child with sensory issues to be able to attend and enjoy a Caps game. Tickets and a Dowd’s Crowd branded kit are provided to recipients who are found selected through the local chapter of Autism Speaks. The Dowd’s were inspired to launch this player program due to Paige’s education in Speech Therapy in college. Paige continues to work in this field and the Dowd’s enjoy being able to meet with their ticket recipients to chat post-game. 
Ovi’s 8’s- In 2006, Ovechkin created Ovi’s 8’s to provide tickets to underserved children in the region. Currently, Ovechkin purchases eight Capitals season tickets and donates them to the American Special Hockey Association. ASHA then distributes these tickets to participants in the four local Special Hockey teams: Baltimore Saints, Montgomery Cheetahs NOVA Cool Cats and Washington Ice Dogs. Since the start of this program, Ovechkin has donated nearly 5,000 tickets to the community. He also hosts a skate for all ASHA participants annually. 
43’s Friends- In 2018, Tom Wilson created 43’s Friends to provide tickets and a special postgame meet and greet to kids waiting for their wishes to be granted by Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic. In 2019, he expanded his program to also include families selected by the United Heroes League. Over the course of a season he donates nearly 100 tickets to families selected through Make-a-Wish Mid-Atlantic and United Heroes League and meets with the families postgame. Wilson chose MAW Mid-Atlantic after being inspired by a former player who had donated tickets to MAW and selected United Heroes League after meeting many incredible men and women in the area who serve or have previously served in the military. 
Hath’s Heroes – In 2019, Garnet Hathaway formed Hath’s Heroes, this player program provides tickets to local first responders. He was inspired to form this program because his great-grandfather was a fireman and he wanted to give back to people who devote their lives to serving the public. Hathaway donates tickets to select games throughout the season and meets with the recipients postgame. In addition to donating tickets, Garnet visits local fire and police stations to have lunch with first responders. 
So Kids Can – Created in 2008 by Caps Players and Elliot Segal from the Elliot in the Morning show, So Kids Can is a program that sets out to benefit youth-focused, nonprofit organizations. Caps forward Nicklas Backstrom joined the cause in 2011, with Braden Holtby joining in 2015 and Wilson joining in 2017. Each player and Segal donate $50 per Capitals win during the regular season and $100 per Capitals win during the playoffs. To date, So Kids Can has donated nearly $500,000 to charity. Past beneficiaries of So Kids Can include The Heart of America Foundation, the KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, Horton’s Kids, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and KaBOOM!   

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Sadie Yarosh

Sadie Yarosh

Sports Philanthropy Network

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