Caps, Fans, Go Above and Beyond for Local Charities

Posted May 11, 2019

Hockey Fights Cancer raised nearly $131,000. (Caps Outsider) 

When the Capitals tanked in the 2003-04 season, then drafted Alex Ovechkin, it not only gave the team and its fans a shot in the arm that is still being felt today, but it also gradually led to more charitable donations across the region, helping countless people and organizations.

The Caps recently announced that they raised more than $2.5 million for charity this past season. The list of recipients is longer than ever and there’s rarely a moment that they’re not raising money for someone, somewhere. They’re doing this on top of running a business, and its success of late has been given a huge boost to the charities.

Granted, much of the money raised isn’t from their pocket, but from fans. At a minimum, the Caps can get Alex Ovechkin to sign a puck (with the puck’s cost being eligible for a tax write-off), and that puck can sell to a bidder for a couple of hundred dollars, which will go to a local charity (even the bidder can write that donation off in taxes.)  This isn’t the same as, say, the Gates Foundation donating that money directly to a charity. But all of this is okay – it’s how it’s done in this business.

What’s changed over the last 15 years is the size of those checks. That $2.5 million would be half as much, if not less, as fans wouldn’t be willing to dish out so much money if the team was frequently losing. And it’s not just money they’re donating, but time. Players visiting hospitals and skating with sick kids doesn’t exactly have a dollar sign attached. Priceless, I suppose.

Basically, because Ovechkin is scoring 50 goals a season, because Braden Holtby is one of the best goaltenders in the league, and because Nick Backstrom is one of the best passers in the league, the Human Rights Campaign got an $18,300 check that otherwise wouldn’t have happened, the DC Children’s Advocacy Center got a $20,000 check, Homeward Trails Animal Rescue earned $177,000 selling calendars, and far more examples listed below.

Of course, winning the Stanley Cup last year gave this past season an extra boost, but the numbers were trending upward regardless. Lets see if the Caps can keep it up next season.

See the complete list on

KaBOOM! Design Day

Wish Experience

Casino Night $404,428

American Special Hockey Skate

Hockey Fights Cancer $131,000

So Kids Can $60,000

Team Hospital Visit

Black Girl Hockey Club

Wish Upon A Par $100,000

Metro Maple Leafs

UAE Team Visit

Military Night $57,350

Fort Dupont $18,000

Caps and TAPS

Dreams for Kids

Pride Auction $18,300

USA Warriors Standing Tournament

Black History Month

Congressional Hockey Challenge $200,000

College Hockey Combine & Fair

Coaches Day

Captain’s Brunch

Learn to Play

Washington Capitals Alumni Association Scholarship $25,000

Hockey Schools: The Capitals hosted 42 Hockey Schools throughout the region during the 2018-19 season, reaching more than 5,200 children.

BCPS Partnership

MCPS Partnership

Blazers Auction $20,000 for Safe Shores – The DC Children’s Advocacy Center

MSE Foundation Grants

DC Central Kitchen, Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, KaBOOM!, Leveling the Playing Field, Martha’s Table, Playworks of Greater Washington, Positive Coaching Alliance, Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association and Up2Us Sports.

Community Drives

The Capital’s fall Food Drive supported by Giant saw 668 pounds of food donated, equivalent to 556 meals. The team’s December toy drive resulted in 1,100 toys and nearly $1,000 in donations.

Holiday Card Auction

First Responders

In advance of the Capital’s First Responders Night in January, the Capitals hosted police and fire officials at a practice. Following practice, they were invited to take a photograph with the team. A portion of the game’s proceeds benefited the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Canine Causes $177,000 for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue

Forty Three’s Friends

Tom Wilson donated four tickets per game across 20 games to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic children and their families.

Dowd’s Crowd

Nic Dowd, along with his wife, Paige, donated tickets to select games to families affiliated with Autism Speaks. The families were given sensory kits at the game, designed to support individuals with sensory needs.

Let’s also not forget the Inova Blood Drives, which isn’t even listed here but still reaping the benefits of the team’s success.

More charity from this past season:

Caps Donate Raffle Earnings to Pittsburgh Jewish Foundation

Caps Raise $12,315 in Lavender Auction

Connolly, Stephenson, Dowd and Copley Join Holiday Party With Local Families

Andre Burakovsky’s Gift Basket Tops Bidding

Caps’ Charitable Endeavors Should Be Applauded, Not Shamed