Photo: Amanda Bowen
At last year’s All-Star draft in Columbus, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin went on a passionate, and at times bizarre, quest to get picked last and win a new car. Ovechkin, who already has a fleet of sport and luxury vehicles at home, did not need another automobile. Viewers at home thought it was a long, elaborate joke.
In the end however, Ovechkin’s quest to win a free car was one of the most charitable and kind moments of the NHL season. Ovechkin was not picked last, but when Honda learned of his idea– to donate the car to Ann Schaab and the American Special Hockey Association’s Washington Ice Dogs — the car company happily agreed to do so, setting up an event a month later at a local dealership.
In interviews with ASHA officials and volunteers, I learned that Ovechkin’s gesture had a profound and long-lasting impact on the team and the organization that benefits special needs hockey players.
Even the most cynical hockey fan cannot deny that Ovechkin’s efforts in promoting Special Hockey has done something real and tangible for hundreds of less fortunate families. Not only has Ovechkin’s talent captivated hockey fans in this area, he’s also made special needs children happier by getting them on the ice.
At the car dealership last February, Ovi said that if an individual can do something to help, they should. Not only did he help Special Hockey with the car and funding, he compelled others to contribute their funds, time, and talents. He gave his passion to others.
And that’s what philantrophy is all about.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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