Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins
When a man went on a shooting spree in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018, the effects of the tragedy, which killed 11 people, were felt around the country. The sports teams of the city – including the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins – did their part to honor and remember the victims and in turn, the rest of the sports world rallied behind them.
The Capitals generously donated their half of their nightly 50/50 raffle ticket winnings (which totaled $19,285) from Wednesday’s game against the Penguins to the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and the synagogue affected by the shooting, through the team’s Monumental Sports Foundation. Thursday afternoon the team announced that the fan who won the other half waived their winnings so the team could donate the full $38,570. In this exclusive interview, NoVa Caps talks to the donor (who prefers to remain anonymous) about his contribution and the reason behind doing so.
The donor, a Capitals Season Ticket Holder, had winnings totaling $19,285, something the Caps mentioned in a tweet, including the winning ticket number, 131066. When we asked the donor about his reason behind donating an amount of money that many people would jump at the chance to claim, he responded:
“My son and I have been season tickets holders for almost 10 years. As much fun as watching the Caps has been, it’s also been a great opportunity to use hockey – something he loves – to share important life lessons,” said the donor. The rivalry with the Pens is one of the best in sports, it’s easy to set that aside and support each other in times of tragedy. Particularly when you have a hate crime, it’s time for all of us to stand up. It’s so important that we stand up to hate. It is utterly ridiculous that people hate others because of their skin color, where or how they worship, who they date, or where they were born.”
Amazing Story: Last night’s 50/50 raffle winner, a #Caps Season Ticket Member, chose to waive their prize so @MSEFndn could donate the total $38,570 jackpot raised to @JewishFedPGH to benefit victims and families of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill. #StrongerThanHate https://t.co/OhVSLqOvTT
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 8, 2018
Asked if he’s softening on the Pens, he said, “I’ll continue to enjoy cheering on the Caps louder than ever when they play Pittsburgh, but I hope we can all be Stronger Than Hate.” We asked the donor what he hopes others take from this act of generosity, considering the amount in winnings passed up, to which he responded:
“I didn’t waive the winnings to send anyone a message. It was really a no-brainer for me and my family. We walked out a few dollars poorer with the money we spent to buy the tickets but infinitely richer in spirit knowing that we were helping others. I would hope that others would be inspired to donate as well, whether it’s in Pittsburgh or in their own communities. It’s incredibly important that we stand up to hate wherever we see it.”
NoVa Caps would like to thank the donor for his interview and would like to commend him on his amazing act of generosity.
By Michael Fleetwood