Bloggers, Readers, and Pro Hockey Teams Banding Together for Wilson High

Wilson High School hockey teamWe hinted at wanting to do something for the District’s Wilson High School hockey team when we learned about their extraordinary story last month. To sum up: Wilson is the District’s only public high school with a varsity hockey team. It was, until last year, guided by an impassioned trailblazer, Paul McKenzie — the type of coach who changes lives and improves his community. He succumbed to pneumonia last winter, and the program, through no fault of the tireless and committed student athletes and parents upholding it, is today stuggling for solvency.
A coalition of Caps’ bloggers — Capital Addiction, Japers’ Rink, Off Wing Opinion, The Peerless Prognosticator, Three Grumpy Caps Fans, and OFB — with the committed assistance of both the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears, has worked in recent weeks to cobble together a Friday evening of puck watching at one of D.C.’s best hot spots — Clyde’s at Gallery Place, adjacent to the Verizon Center — and hold an auction to benefit the Wilson High hockey team.
For the price of a movie ticket — $10 — we would ask each and every reader of these six blogs living in or near D.C. to make Friday night, February 29 one for hockey history in Washington. At 7:00 p.m. that evening at the Clyde’s of Gallery Place we’ll gather upstairs to watch the Caps take on the Devils in New Jersey, throw back a few puck sodas, and try and raise some urgently needed money for this desperate and inspiring hockey club.
Many of Wilson’s players never knew of hockey before being introduced to it by Paul McKenzie. We want to help keep these kids skating. Badly.
And Friday night, February 29, will also inaugurate a weekend designated in Paul McKenzie’s honor: the Wilson team will skate that Saturday and Sunday in the first-ever Paul McKenzie Memorial Hockey Tournament in Frederick, Md.
We’ve never before asked anything of our readers in the way of contributions for a cause, but our bloggers’ coalition and the Caps and their affiliate believe in the urgency of this one. Both pro hockey teams have donated items for the auction (including, yes, items signed by Alexander Ovechkin). The entire Bears’ team signed Daren Maschesney’s hockey stick for this event.
Officials from the Hershey Bears will travel down for the event, and Caps’ reps, too, will be on hand. We’ll have Wilson hockey parents on hand. We heard from Kathy Cox, Executive Director of the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, who told us, “Consider us a part of the team to help the Wilson hockey club.”
It promises to be a memorable evening for an eminently worthy cause. Bring some cash, bring your checkbook, bring your thirst. Even Clyde’s is getting into the giving act.
We are working still on an idea to get some technology involved that would allow folks outside of Washington and unable to make it to Clyde’s on the 29th to chip in for the team. We’ll keep you posted on that front.
In the “Without Whom” department: OFB would like to thank Clyde’s of Gallery Place for generously offering to host the event. Many thanks also go to Shmee of Capital Addiction, whose event-organizing expertise was invaluable to this endeavor. Eric McErlain of Off Wing Opinion offered valuable fundraiser guidance. Our friend Peerless spent hours gathering and editing images and artwork. All of the bloggers involved have been generous and supportive.
And certainly we could not pull off this kind of event absent the support of two very community-oriented hockey organizations, the Washington Capitals and the Hershey Bears.
Update: For those readers not in the DC area who cannot attend but still wish to help, the link to donate online via Paypal to the Wilson High Hockey Team can be found in this post as well as at the OFB right hand navigation bar until the end of March.
This event is sponsored by your friendly neighborhood Capitals blogs; we’re looking forward to seeing all of you on the 29th!

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22 Responses to Bloggers, Readers, and Pro Hockey Teams Banding Together for Wilson High

  1. hockeygrl76 says:

    Sounds fun! Count me in!

  2. Have a great time at Clyde’s. I’ll be at The Rock in my Ovechkin sweater for that game. Any way to make an online donation?

  3. Aggressive Donator: Hold on to that marvelous charitable thought. We’re gonna work on that revenue avenue in the coming week.

  4. SovSport says:

    What an awesome initiative!

  5. The Peerless says:

    And the logo arrangement looks a lot better than the #@$& we put together…

  6. Bob says:

    Go Wilson hockey. Keep up the good work!

  7. Meza says:

    Count me there with the checkbook. This is an awesome event. Congratulations to all of the sponoring organizations for caring so much about the community.

  8. What better way to spend the “bonus day” of 2008? πŸ™‚ Looking forward to seeing you all there.

  9. Doug says:

    My wife and I will attend. Looking forward to it !!

  10. pepper says:

    I would also be interested in participating from out of town as well.

  11. dmg says:

    I’m in the same boat as Pepper, I can’t make it since I live far outside the DC area. Any way to do that?

  12. As Pucks said, we’re working on a way for out-of-town supporters to contribute to the team. Thank you all for the support, and we’ll post more “remote donation” information as it’s available.

  13. Paul says:

    Wish I could be there. Stuck in Maine for most of the year these days. Need more hockey in the area.

  14. Thunderweenie says:

    I think I win the prize for being furthest from DC, but I extend my moral support. School teams are the heart and soul of any sport, and certainly are its future.
    Let me know if “remote donations” are possible.
    I guess OrderedChaos will have to drink my puck-sodas for me. 😦

  15. Scott says:

    Definitely work on the online donation…I’d like to send them a few bucks.

  16. @Thunderweenie
    Ow, stop twisting my arm, you fiend!

  17. Grooven says:

    I’m planning on being there. I’ll try to get ahold of some of my long ago fellow Tigers too.

  18. Chris P. says:

    John, You know I’ll be there. I’m excited to be representing the BEARS as they will be making a long plane flight from Manitoba to Hamilton. You guys are to be commended for undertaking such a project to help a team in need. Im glad that I was asked to take part in such an event.

  19. Jimmy Jazz says:

    Count me in. I didn’t even know Wilson had a team. Sweet.

  20. Brian says:

    Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention. Got the news through Japers and would like to contribute online. When you get info for the online donations, would you post a new/updated entry so my RSS reader will ping me?

  21. Kristen says:

    I can’t make it, but I would love to have a Paypal link or sumpin to donate.

  22. Gustafsson says:

    A PayPal donation link can be found at this link:
    and on the right hand navigation for the next month or two.

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