Alex Henderson, 12-Year-Old Capitals Fan, Makes Masks Amid Shortage & Gets a Surprise Call from Garnet Hathaway

Fan's MasksPhotos: Henderson Family & NBC Sports

In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and a major mask shortage, everyone is finding fabric to make masks and face coverings for themselves, their family, and frontline healthcare workers. Alex Henderson, a 12-year-old boy from North Potomac, Maryland, jumped in on the action to help out nurses and first responders battling the pandemic. He and his mother Suzete got a surprise from Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway during a video call with Capitals Radio play-by-play announcer John Walton.

Alex had the idea over a month ago after hearing about the growing need for masks for first responders and nurses. “I just knew that my mom was good at sewing, and since the coronavirus was starting to spread, I said, ‘Hey mom you should start making masks,’” Alex told Dick Uliano of WTOP News in April.

Once they found a pattern, Alex helped with the tracing and cutting of fabric. What started at 50 masks soon became over 1,200 masks due to its popularity. The mother and son have made maks in about 20 different fabric patterns, which most are patriotic themes. After a few modifications, their Capitals-themed masks have become the “biggest hit”, according to Suzete.

The Capitals learned of Alex and Suzete’s incredible work and set up what appeared to be a video call with John Walton. Two minutes into the call, Hathaway joined, but Alex did not realize he was there until two minutes later. Rendered speechless, the 12-year-old was astonished that Hathaway knew of his work, calling it “unbelievable”.

Hathaway thanked Alex for wanting to help out as it means a lot to the 28-year-old forward. Inspired by his great-grandfather, a Winnipeg firefighter, Hathaway started the “Hath’s Heroes” program in December to show his support and appreciation for first responders.

Alex is a big Capitals fan and actually plays for the Tri-City Eagles, a youth hockey organization, in Laurel, Maryland. His face lit up when Hathaway invited him to a future Capitals game and hoped to give them a tour whenever the season resumes and it’s safe for fans.

“Keep up the great work, honestly,” Hathaway said. “You guys have made a huge difference…thank you so much.”

Alex is pleased with their contribution and credits his mom with most of the work. “We have to keep staying inside and just let the doctors work on the vaccine and just work on no one getting sick,” he said.

Further Reading

“I’m A Huge D.C. Sports Fan, So It’s Fitting That I’m Making These Masks D.C.-Themed.”: How a Local Oncology Nurse is Helping to Protect Her Colleagues & Patients

Crossed Hockey Lines, Crossed State Lines, Brought Together Skills, & Helped Each Other Out: How Two Nurses Sewed Over 30 Capitals Masks For D.C. First Responders

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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