Zachary, who is almost 8 and in 2nd grade, has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This means that his brain has trouble communicating with his muscles. He has to practice a physical skill many, many times before he learns it. For example, he was almost 2 before he learned to sit up and nearly 4 when he started walking. He has gotten pretty good at walking but still has weakness throughout his legs and ankles, so he can't wear ice skates yet. Luckily for him, this event provides sleds for kids who can't skate. This is unique since sleds aren't permitted during public skates so this is the only time during the year that Zachary actually gets to go on the ice. We are huge hockey fans, and spend a lot of time at Kettler and Verizon Center, so it's a big deal to him when it's *his* turn.
Zachary couldn't wait to get in his sled and go. As in previous years, he wanted to be pushed around for the entire hour and hated when he was stopped.
One of the videographers attached a GoPro to the foot of the sled. Zachary was fascinated by that. I am hoping to get the raw footage because it was pretty cool.
He enjoyed interacting with Caps defenseman Taylor Chorney and Caps forward Tom Wilson, but his favorite "hockey celebrity" is definitely Slapshot.
He was excited when they brought out the sticks and foam pucks and he could "play" hockey like he does at home with his brother.
It is hard to describe how great it feels as a parent to see your child participating in an activity like this. I'd really like to thank all of the volunteers who take time out of their schedules to participate in events like this.
Thank you to Dreams for Kids DC for putting on activities like this throughout the year. And thanks to the Capitals and their MSE Foundation who do tremendous things for our community.
To see all the photos I took today, please check out my Google photo album. Please don't republish any photos without permission and attribution.
There were a lot of photographers and media outlets present today, so I will link to their coverage here as well.
- Channel 9 interviewed me and featured it on their 7 pm newscast tonight. Here is a photo gallery that they posted.
How cute are these hockey players? Check out our story in about 2 min on @wusa9 Turn the channel NOW! @washcaps pic.twitter.com/6FQ3aFP8Zh— Diane Roberts (@DianesTalking) February 20, 2016
- Channel 7 created a great video recap: http://wjla.com/news/local/washington-capitals-host-special-hockey-clinic-for-dreams-for-kids-dc
Washington Capitals host special hockey clinic for Dreams For Kids D.C. @CapitalsPR https://t.co/vbhQEMrDWy pic.twitter.com/evdJ6TQlmp
— ABC7News (@ABC7News) February 20, 2016
- Channel 5 was also there but hasn't put their footage online.
- Two writers from the terrific Caps blog Japers Rink volunteered at the event. Thanks @HeyJayJRogers and @CapitalsHill for being there! Read Jason's recap here. I was there and it still made me a little misty reading it.
- Here's the Caps press release about the event
- And the Monumental Foundation's photo gallery
- The Monumental Network put together a little video.
Thanks for reading!