June 13, 2015- Today, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, the Washington Capitals, and the Washington Capitals fans came together as one to help spruce up Fort Dupont Ice Arena in Southeast D.C. as they prepare to open the arena to local kids. Special guests today included Karl, Mandy, and Stella Alzner, Brandi and Braden Holtby and family, Red Rockers Paige and Becca, and last but not least Slapshot, the official mascot of the Washington Capitals. There were several projects to be completed from painting the walls to mopping the floor of the ice rink (minus ice) to landscaping around the ice arena.
We checked in before 9am and the MSE Foundation team had every volunteer sign a waiver and asked them which project they would like to work on at the ice rink. Every volunteer also received a Caps/Volunteer t-shirt and offered breakfast items from bananas/apples to fruit gummies to energy bars and water to the volunteers. We were made aware that the event would end around noon to 12:30pm with pizza and refreshments. The Capitals official yoga instructor had the volunteers do some warm up yoga moves before getting started. A D.J. was there to play motivating music for the volunteers as they worked hard at their respective projects.
As parents to a 3 year old Capitals fan, we also believe it is important for Marcus to start early when it comes to giving back to the community by volunteering. Since he loved the Capitals, this was a great incentive to get him involved and motivated. My wife Vicki and I decided that we would be most productive with our son to help tape up the edges of door frames and edges and paint the walls. With the help of several other volunteers and Red Rockers Paige and Becca, we were able to complete our task by the end of the event. We saw Mr. Karl Alzner and family help out by cleaning the hockey helmets and picking the weeds outside on the sidewalk. Brandi Holtby helped string the nets of the hockey goals. Braden Holtby also stopped by with his 2 kids. Mr. Holtby was gracious enough to pose for a picture with me and my son.
Around noon, everyone was pretty much finished with the projects and had gathered outside in front of the arena to have a pizza lunch supplied by MSE Foundation. I was kind of disappointed that there weren’t more volunteers to help out today. Maybe next year we can really spread the word through social media to get more Capitals fans to help out. I also noticed that Fort Dupont Ice Arena needed more donated items like paint roller extensions, drip cloths, blue painters tape, gloves, gardening tools, etc… Overall, it was a great experience for our son to learn that giving back is important and so is hard work. Finally, LET’S GO CAPS!!!!
By Gene Wu – Twitter: @TheWuWu