Washington Capitals Charities, Washington Mystics Foundation and Wizards Care Charities have been combined into the newly formed Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) Foundation.
Created in 2013, Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards. As these teams now fall under the Monumental Sports & Entertainment umbrella, aligning their causes and unifying their giving enables us to have the greatest impact on the community.
MSE Foundation is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact on the community:
Education and scholarship
| Hunger and homelessness|
| Military and veterans' affairs|
| Pediatric health and fitness|
| Youth basketball and hockey|
Recognizing the community as our most important asset, MSE Foundation looks forward to continuing to creating programs that are designed to give back to the very community that supports our teams. In 2013 Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, along with the Leonsis Foundation, will donate more than $1.5 million to local charities. Through MSE Foundation we pledge to continue investing our time and resources and serving as a positive influence and contributor in our community, and we hope to inspire others to do the same.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, please click the button below. Once you click the button you will be directed to our secure PayPal donations page.
For more information on Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, please contact Elizabeth Wodatch, executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caps Care Casino Night and Auction
Caps Care Casino Night and Auction is the marquee fundraising event for the Washington Capitals. More than 600 fans helped raise nearly $360,000 for charity at the third Caps Care Casino Night and Auction in February 2012 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Va. This event has raised more than $950,000 for charity in three years.
A special reception was held for VIP ticket holders who mingled with the entire team along with coaches and owners. Afterward the players entered the gaming area, which featured blackjack, craps, roulette, Texas hold ‘em and slot machines. There were instructional tables along with video game stations in the foyer for everyone to enjoy. The participants were treated to complimentary food and beverage during the event.
There were three silent auctions where participants were able to bid on autographed sports memorabilia and Capitals’ game-used equipment. In addition two raffles were held, one that required attendees to buy tickets and another that guests could enter with the “money” they won from the casino games. The evening concluded with a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences with Capitals players and coaches.
The Capitals would like to thank all of its 2012 Caps Care Casino Night and Auction sponsors who helped make the night a success: Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, The Leonsis Foundation, Accenture, M.C. Dean, Inc., Intelligent Decisions, Inc., Robert and Paula Hisaoka, The Mody Foundation, Mercedes Benz of Arlington and Alexandria, GEICO, Capital One Bank, Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Perone Communications & Consulting, Sentrillion, Fernandez Foundation, SMI Sign Systems, Inc., Show Biz Productions, LLC and Good Stuff Eatery.
Look for the fourth-annual Caps Care Casino Night and Auction in 2014.
Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction
Since 2008 the Washington Capitals have hosted a jersey auction as part of the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer Month initiative. The Capitals hosted its Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction during the game in October 2010, and raised more than $28,000 for the Washington, D.C., chapter of Flashes of Hope. The jerseys were worn during pregame warmups and featured Hockey Fights Cancer patches on the front with the players’ names and numbers stitched in lavender on the back. Lavender is the official color the NHL’s Hockey Fights Cancer month, as it represents all forms of cancer.
Fifteen jerseys went for $1,000 or more, with Alex Ovechkin’s jersey the top seller at $2,025. Other top bid recipients were jerseys worn and autographed by Karl Alzner, Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, John Carlson, Mike Green, Matt Hendricks, Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich, Michal Neuvirth and Mathieu Perreault. There was also a Capitals-branded guitar autographed by the entire Caps team that was auctioned off for $3,000.
Look for the Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction to return in October 2013.
Holiday Puck Surprises
The holidays are made just a little bit sweeter thanks to the Capitals “Puck Surprises” hosted at Verizon Center. The puck surprises give fans an opportunity to purchase pucks autographed by their favorite players, wrapped with the colors and candy treats of the season. The lucky fans who select unsigned pucks get to meet a Caps player and have them signed in person. During the 2011-12 season the puck surprises raised more than $36,000 for Capitals Charities.
The 2013 Valentine’s Day puck surprise will be held at the game against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9 and the 2013 Spring Puck Surprise will be held at the game against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 11.
For the fifth year in a row the Washington Capitals reminded everyone what true courage is and called Caps fans to action through Courage Caps. Through this initiative, the Capitals raised nearly $106,000 for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
Camouflage Courage Caps and T-Shirts were sold for $20 at Capitals home games, online at WashingtonCaps.com and at the team stores at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and Verizon Center. There were also a limited number of autographed Courage Caps and T-Shirts available. For $50, fans were able to purchase a “Three Stars” Courage Cap or T-Shirt signed by Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Tomas Vokoun; for $35, fans could purchase a hat or T-shirt signed by any other individual Capitals player.
Courage Caps allowed the Capitals to raise $105,742 for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, a nonprofit organization that helps families of the fallen. Founded out of tragedy in 1994 TAPS has established itself as the front line resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women. TAPS provides ongoing emotional help, hope and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America, regardless of their relationship to the deceased, geography or circumstance of the death. TAPS offers comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer-based emotional support, case work assistance, crisis intervention and grief and trauma resources.
This season Courage Caps will be available starting at the game against the New York Rangers on March 10.
Caps Canine Calendar
Washington Capitals Charities donated more than $31,000 to the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) in April through the sale of copies of the 2012 Caps Canine Calendar. The calendars were sold at Caps home games, at the team store at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and at WashingtonCaps.com. The calendars featured photos of Capitals players Karl Alzner, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, Jeff Halpern, Roman Hamrlik, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Jeff Schultz and Dennis Wideman with their dogs and Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Mike Green with dogs from the Washington Animal Rescue League.
The Caps Better Halves came up with the calendar idea and presented the check to chief operating officer Mary Jarvis at the WARL facility in April 2012. The oldest animal shelter in the District of Columbia, the Washington Animal Rescue League has a special mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals that have nowhere else to go. Its facility is uniquely designed from the animals’ point of view to make it one of the most humane and welcoming animal shelters in the world. The full-service medical center serves the companion animals of low-income pet guardians as well as shelter animals.
The Capitals look forward to creating a 2014 Caps Canine Calendar to raise money for this cause close to the players’ hearts.
Players’ Wives Gift Basket Auction
In a rare opportunity that gives fans a glimpse into the lives of their favorite players, the Caps wives and girlfriends team up with Capitals Charities for their annual gift basket auction. The baskets, decorated and put together by the wives and girlfriends, are decked out with some of the players’ favorite things – from movies to candy bars. In 2011 the auction raised more than $15,000.
Be on the lookout for this season’s gift basket auction, tentatively scheduled to take place in April 2013.
On one special gameday each season, the Capitals give fans the opportunity to support MSE Foundation and Pick-A-Stick. Each of the numerous hockey sticks up for grabs, with the exception of a select few, is signed by a member of the team. The lucky fans that chose the unsigned sticks get the opportunity to meet a Caps player and get their brand-new sticks signed in person. The 2012 Pick-A-Stick raised $18,770.
The 2013 Pick-A-Stick will take place at the game against the Boston Bruins on March 5.
The Washington Capitals raised more than $20,000 for charity through the team’s Mystery Mini-Helmets fundraiser, taking place during the 2012 playoffs. The fundraiser featured Capitals replica mini-helmets, autographed by various Capitals players and packaged in red bags sealed with a Capitals sticker so fans did not know whose autograph they received until after they had made their purchase. Every mini-helmet was signed by a member of the Caps, with five marked as winners. Each of the lucky fans who selected a winning package not only took home a signed mini-helmet, but also received an authentic autographed jersey.
The Capitals look forward to making Mystery Mini-Helmets an annual playoff fundraiser.
Since 2009 nearly 4,000 Caps fans have participated in the team’s Beard-a-thon fundraiser. Beard-a-thon encourages fans to grow a beard themselves or make a financial donation in support of a Capitals player or a fan who elected to grow a playoff beard. Fans were also able to build virtual beards for themselves on the Beard-a-thon website. In 2012 the Capitals helped raise more than $26,000. Since the start of the program, Beard-a-thon has raised nearly $130,000 for charity.
The Washington Capitals raised $24,493 through the team’s first online raffle held during the 2012 NHL Eastern Conference semifinals. The Caps partnered with the Celebrities for Charities Foundation to raffle off two tickets to Game 6 in a catered suite with Caps legend Peter Bondra and Hall of Famer Rod Langway on netRaffle.org. Fans were able to purchase individual raffle tickets for $2 each or 20 raffle tickets for $25. More than 1,000 Caps fans purchased a total of 21,773 raffle tickets in just three days.
Be on the lookout for several online raffles during the 2012-13 season that will include autographed memorabilia, interactive experiences and tickets to Caps games.
2012 marked the second-straight year that all three Monumental Sports & Entertainment sports teams collaborated on the Family-to-Family program, which the Wizards created 16 years ago. The program allows the Caps, Mystics and Wizards to “adopt” families in need who are nominated by local schools and nonprofit organizations. This past holiday season more than 20 families were adopted by the teams’ charities, individual players and staff members.
The Family-to-Family program kicked off in November when wives and girlfriends of Wizards and Capitals players and coaches shopped for 82 adults and children adopted through the program. Participants included Monika Hybnerova, girlfriend of Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth and Karin Johansson, wife of Capitals assistant coach Calle Johansson along with Bree Anderson, fiancée of Wizards forward Trevor Ariza, Patrice Cleary, wife of Wizards strength and conditioning coach Drew Cleary, April Dixon, girlfriend of Wizards forward Trevor Booker, Lauren Hilario, wife of Wizards center Nene, Eva Kodouskova, fiancée of Wizards forward Jan Vesely, Ilana Nunn Okafor, wife of Wizards center Emeka Okafor, Joni Sichting, wife of Wizards assistant coach Jerry Sichting, Courtney Webster, wife of forward Martell Webster and Kathy Wittman, wife of Wizards head coach Randy Wittman. Clothing, educational items and toys were purchased for the children, while clothing and household items along with grocery gift cards were purchased for the parents and guardians. By the end of the day a full-sized JK Moving Services truck was filled with more than $25,000 in clothing, bikes, toys and presents for the families.
All of the adopted families were invited to a holiday party at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in December. The children and families in attendance enjoyed an afternoon of refreshments, games and fun with team mascots Slapshot and G-Wiz, Red Rockers and Wizard Girls, who were all on hand to help spread holiday cheer to the deserving families. The children were able to skate on the Capitals ice, play basketball, interact with Santa and have their faces painted. At the end of the event, the families left with bags overflowing with holiday gifts from the Caps, Wizards and Mystics.
The families selected for participation in the 2012 Family-to-Family program were nominated by local schools and nonprofit organizations including The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command, The Women’s Wing Organization, Catholic Charities, Browne Education Campus, Bright Beginnings, Shaw Community and Building Hope.
Everybody Wins! DC
During the 2011-12 school year 20 staff members from Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) participated in the Everybody Wins! DC Power Lunch program, a literacy and mentoring program based in select elementary schools in the Washington metropolitan area. The goal of Power Lunch is to encourage children’s interest in reading, expand their opportunities for success and facilitate meaningful volunteer contributions.
Through the Power Lunch program, MSE staff members – including employees from the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Wizards and Verizon Center – were paired with students at Garrison Elementary School in Washington, D.C., and Key Elementary School in Arlington, Va. Each week during the school year, MSE staff members took time out of their day to visit with their mentees, spending time reading and sharing conversation during the lunch hour. The program concluded in May with year-end celebrations with each partner school during which all of the mentors and mentees were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Power Lunch program.
Serve DC Partnership
For the fourth-straight year the Washington Capitals partnered with Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism to “adopt” a local school. For the second season in a row, the Caps adopted Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, a Title I D.C. Public School (DCPS) located in Ward 5 that serves children in preschool through fifth grade.
To kick off the partnership the Caps participated in the annual D.C. Public Schools’ Beautification Day in August. The Capitals hosted a service project at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Northeast Washington headlined by Caps forward Mike Ribeiro and John W. Marshall (son of Thurgood Marshall) that featured team mascot Slapshot and more than 150 Caps fans. Ribeiro and his family, Marshall and volunteers worked on several exterior and interior projects around the school. Participants created vegetable garden beds with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) People’s Garden initiative and cared for a garden created by volunteers last year. They also built three robotics tables and painted five murals, two bathrooms, a classroom wall and an elevator, they also assisted teachers with classroom set up for the first day of classes.
The Capitals also visited their 2010-11 adopted school, Powell Elementary, in November 2012. A total of 20 Capitals staff members partnered with 10 USDA employees during Keep America Beautiful’s National Planting Day. The volunteers worked alongside Powell students to put the school’s habitat garden, which Caps fans, staff and players helped build in 2011, to bed for the winter. They also harvested lettuce, turnips, radishes, broccoli and herbs from the food gardens that students nurtured throughout the year. They used these vegetables to prepare salads and the herbs to season dressing that the students ate with the volunteers.
Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association
For the fourth year in a row, the Washington Capitals partnered with the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association (PVAHA) John Crerar Hockey Development Grants program, providing a $25,000 grant in 2012. This money was distributed to 17 area hockey programs to increase participation and promote hockey within Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The general areas targeted for the grants included diversity hockey, disabled hockey, cross-ice hockey, Grow the Game programs and the American Development Model. Thanks in part to the grant from the Capitals, PVAHA had 2,141 new players during the 2011-12 season, an increase of 13% from the season before. Since 2009 the Capitals have granted $95,000 to PVAHA, and local hockey participation has increased by 35%.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation is proud to serve as a storefront sponsor at Junior Achievement Finance Park in Fairfax, Va., where local students are able to build financial skills for life. Junior Achievement of Greater Washington provides students a real-world perspective of finance – one that is current, practical and easy to understand. Taking more than 15,000 middle school students each year into the world of business, Junior Achievement Finance Park is a month-long economics education program that introduces participants to personal financial planning and career exploration.
The Junior Achievement Finance Park experience begins in the classroom. The four-week classroom curriculum culminates with a day at Junior Achievement Finance Park, where students immerse themselves in a reality-based decision-making process that addresses aspects of individual and family budgeting, including housing, transportation, food, utilities, health care, investments, philanthropy and banking. The on-site activities are designed to allow students the opportunity to put into action what they have learned in the classroom and to understand the basic steps of maintaining a realistic personal budget. Two weeks of classroom follow-up allows students to use their new financial knowledge to explore career options and to set goals for their future.
Flashes of Hope
For the third year in a row the Capitals provided a grant for Flashes of Hope, ensuring that the D.C. chapter, which the Caps helped establish at Children’s National Medical Center, would continue for another two years.
Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research and changes the way children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography. During the 2011-12 season 168 families were photographed during eight shoots. In October 2011 Caps forwards Jason Chimera and Brooks Laich participated in a hockey-themed photo shoot at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, spending time with Flashes of Hope patients and their families, taking photos and signing autographs. The goal of Flashes of Hope is to photograph every child until every child is cured.
During the 2011-12 season the Washington Capitals helped fulfill three wishes for children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Working through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic, the Washington Capitals, along with Alex Ovechkin and other Caps players, helped facilitate wishes for three children: Ellie Carney, 18, of Washington, D.C.; Robert Thompson, 18, of Essexville, Mich.; and Sam Jacobson, 15, of Boise, Idaho. All of the children attended a Caps game where they received an autographed Ovechkin jersey, watched the teams warmup from the penalty box, sat in either a suite or Ovechkin’s “Ovi’s Crazy 8s” section, rode the Olympia ice resurfacer during an intermission and spent time with their favorite player, Ovechkin, after the game. The Caps made sure that the Make-A-Wish children and their families had plenty of Capitals gear and merchandise. Robert and Sam attended practice sessions at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, toured the practice facility, met with other Caps players and each had his own stall set up in the team’s locker room with a personalized nameplate. Sam, a high school hockey player, also was given a full set of equipment from Bauer and was then able to skate with Ovechkin, Karl Alzner and Mike Green after practice.
For the past three seasons the Caps have hosted a service project at Fort Dupont Ice Arena in Washington, D.C. In June 2012 Capitals defenseman John Carlson and mascot Slapshot teamed up with 100 Caps fans to help spruce up the ice rink. Volunteers worked on indoor projects that included waxing the boards, cleaning the glass, painting the lobby and hallway behind the bleachers, cleaning hockey equipment, putting together goals and organizing hockey equipment. Outdoor projects included washing windows, landscaping and planting flower beds, raking leaves and sweeping the sidewalks and parking lot.
Fort Dupont is the only public indoor ice arena located in Washington, D.C., and the only skating facility in the area that provides free or subsidized skating programs to children. Its Kids On Ice program provides free figure skating, hockey and speed skating lessons to economically disadvantaged children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn these sports. Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena partners with public and private schools, summer camps, churches and local community organizations to promote and deliver its programs to more than 7,000 children per year.
MSE Staff Service Projects
During the summer of 2012 Monumental Sports & Entertainment employees participated in three service projects. The Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation partnered on a project with USO-Metro in July, D.C. Central Kitchen in Augustand Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church in September.
Capitals Hall-of-Fame alumnus Rod Langway and Bullets alumni Bob Dandridge, Jack Marin and Larry Stewart participated alongside Monumental Sports & Entertainment staff members, Caps mascot Slapshot, Wizard Girls and USO-Metro volunteers in an Operation USO Care Package event in July at the USO Warehouse. Langway, Dandridge, Marin, Stewart, Slapshot, the Wizards Girls and MSE employees volunteered with a mix of civilians, active duty military members and military spouses and children to assemble military family care packages that service members who are deploying will send home to their families.
In August Langway joined MSE staff members for morning meal prep at DC Central Kitchen. Throughout the session the Monumental Sports & Entertainment employees transformed 3,000 pounds of leftover food into 5,000 meals for 100 area homeless shelters, transitional homes and nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.
For the National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11, Langway and Dandridge volunteered with Monumental Sports & Entertainment staff members, Arlington County first responders and volunteers from Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church to prepare Arlington County’s Emergency Winter Shelter for its opening day. Volunteers cleaned and painted rooms throughout the building, installed bookshelves in the library and added mirrors and clothes hooks in the bathrooms. They also placed additional shelving and clothes bars to store donated clothing and assembled welcome kits for 100 homeless men and women.
Through these MSE Foundation staff service projects, 120 employees volunteered 500 hours of their time to local charities during the summer of 2012.