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These Photos of the Caps Visiting Sick Kids Will Make Your Day Better

The team made its annual visit to MedStar—and dabbled in a bit of artwork.
These Photos of the Caps Visiting Sick Kids Will Make Your Day Better
Cancer survivor Brock Ludwigson, 4, told his mom he looked like Ovi when he lost his tooth. All photos by Evy Mages.

The Washington Capitals made their annual visit to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Monday as part of the NHL’s “The Biggest Assist Happens Off the Ice” program. Team members joined patients and their families in the hospital’s Tracy’s Kids art clinic to squirt paint at a canvas, doodle around a small table, and autograph gifts including blankets, posters, and Capitals Kids Club kits, which are provided by Capitals fans through the team’s Kids Club kit donation program. The Caps sported purple jerseys, part of the Hockey Fights Cancer campaign, which seeks to unite the hockey community in its efforts to raise money and awareness toward a cure.

The Capitals sponsored the art clinic’s renovation. That means they bring a significant level of awareness to what the patients are going through, says Tracy Councill, program director for Tracy’s Kids. “If we can get a chance to help people know that we’re doing art therapy, and that kids with cancer are normal kids, it means a lot on a lot of levels.”

The kids look forward to the day all year long, says Laurie Strongin, founder and CEO of Hope for Henry, a nonprofit that partners with hospitals on innovative programs for seriously ill children. The day means a lot to the players, too, particularly those with children. Says right winger T.J. Oshie, who’s a father of two, “Every time it’s very humbling to come here. You appreciate it a little more, what you’re able to do on a daily basis when you see these kids hooked up to machines.”

Adds captain Alex Ovechkin, “We love to spend time here. We try to connect to everybody, you know. We want to have everybody happy.”

Dmitry Orlov, Alex Ovechkin, and Evgeny Kuznetsov participated in a Flashes of Hope photo shoot with cancer patients and their families. Flashes of Hope raises money for pediatric cancer research, using photography to change the way children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses see themselves.
Ryan Tomoff, 23, a Tracy’s kid alum, grins with Caps defenseman Christian Djoos and goalie Philipp Grubauer.
Oshie and left winger André Burakovsky get in on the action.
According to right winger Jay Beagle, “It’s always a special day to come out and spread a little joy, though I think they’re more interested in Slapshot.”
The day’s artwork.

 

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Kim Olsen
Associate Editor

Kim Olsen joined Washingtonian in 2016 after moving to DC from Pittsburgh, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She lives in Alexandria.