Before Barry Trotz became head coach of the Washington Capitals, he spent 17 years in Nashville as the bench boss of the Predators. During that time, Trotz not only became the face of the Predators’ franchise, but also an integral part of the Nashville community. One big reason for that is Barry’s son Nolan.
Trotz’s teenage son has down syndrome and during his time in Nashville, Trotz cultivated a strong relationship with Best Buddies in Tennessee. Now he’s looking to have an even bigger impact with the Washington Capital Region chapter.
— Tommy McFLY (@TommyMcFLY) September 25, 2016
Barry Trotz and his son Nolan are serving as honorary walk co-chairs of the Best Buddies Friendship Walk taking place at the National Mall on Saturday, October 15.
“There’s no worse fear for a parent for your child to have no friends,” Trotz, filled with tears, says in the video. “To look outside, everybody is playing basketball but he’s not included. Best Buddies gets rid of that – a phone call an email, going to a movie with someone who doesn’t have special needs is life changing for that person. That little bit of compassion, that little bit of time that you give – you’ll get that back ten-fold. It’s life-changing, not not only for a parent, but also for a child.”
Participants who take part in the walk can join Trotz’s wife, Kim, and son Nolan, mascot Slapshot and the Red Rockers. The friendship walk is the number one program in the country raising awareness and funds to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Barry would be there too, but he has to lead the Caps through a practice ahead of their home opener.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg recently covered Trotz’s last visit to the Nashville’s Best Buddies home base while in town for the All-Star game. Trotz’s impact is undeniable:
Tennessee’s chapter of an organization launched at Georgetown in 1989 might be unrecognizable without Trotz. He spearheaded the group’s first fundraising push, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of memorabilia, leaned on local media friends to turn the non-profit into a Nashville institution, and created a link with the Predators that continued after his 2014 firing. (The team made a $25,000 donation to Best Buddies in his honor after cutting ties with the only coach it had ever known.)
If you’d like to participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk, the Caps have all your details:
Washington Capitals fans are invited to participate in the Best Buddies Friendship Walk: Capital Region as members of team “Strollin’ with Nolan” on Saturday, Oct. 15, at 8:30 a.m. at the Washington Monument.
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The goal of the 5K Walk/Run is to raise awareness and funds to support individuals with IDD.
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz and his son Nolan, a Best Buddies chapter member, are serving as honorary walk co-chairs. On Oct. 15, participants will walk with coach Trotz’s wife, Kim, and son Nolan, mascot Slapshot and Red Rockers.
Participants must register at http://www.StrollinWithNolan.com. Students can join for free, while adults may join by committing to raise $100 or more in donations. Race-Day registration begins at 7 a.m., and opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m. at the base of the Washington Monument (Madison Drive and 15th St NW).
Members and supporters of team “Strollin’ with Nolan” will be entered a drawing to participate in a community skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex with Coach Trotz. In addition, the first place fundraiser will receive four tickets to a regular season Capitals game and a post-game meet and greet with Trotz. The second place fundraiser will receive a Capitals jersey autographed by the team, while the third place fundraiser will receive a Capitals hockey stick autographed by the team.
The Friendship Walk will take place on closed roads along the National Mall. Following the event, there will be a finish line celebration with food, beverages, dancing and activities for all ages.
Best Buddies Capital Region hopes to have more than 2,000 participants lace up their shoes to walk for friendship and inclusion. The Walk is expected to raise $415,000 for Best Buddies Capital Region’s School Friendship, Jobs, and Ambassadors programs.
Since 2009, more than 55,000 participants have walked in more than 26 states and three countries, raising more than $5 million for Best Buddies. Proceeds from the Friendship Walk play a fundamental part in funding Best Buddies’ state programs that provide one-to-one friendships, leadership development and integrated job opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This year, our programs will work to create promising opportunities for more than 350,000 people in all 50 states.
Photo: Best Buddies Website
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