Washington Capitals star left wing Alex Ovechkin received a car from Honda today at Bill Page Honda in Falls Church, which he promptly donated to the American Special Hockey Association for them to raffle off.
Honda decided to give Ovechkin the car after the company learned of his widely publicized pleas for the vehicle during the National Hockey League’s All-Star weekend last month were so that he could give it to American Special Hockey Association, which was created in 2000 for hockey players with developmental disabilities. Players from three of the teams in the association, most of whom were children, were at Bill Page for the ceremony.
“The kids are happy…they are smiling, which is great,” Ovechkin said after receiving the keys to the car. “They’re parents are happy as well, so it’s a great day for us.”
According to a press release from the American Special Hockey Association, Ovechkin skated with players from the three local hockey teams – the Washington Ice Dogs, the NoVa Cool Cats and the Montgomery Cheetahs – that were at Bill Page on Monday afternoon. Included in that group was Ann Schaab, a 10-year-old player for the Ice Dogs who invited Ovechkin on a date after he skated with the players last fall.
A few weeks later, Ovechkin took Ann and her family out for sushi before driving her to a Capitals game, where she and her family visited the locker room to see him and other players. Her family was touched by the gesture and worked with Ovechkin, the American Special Hockey Association and Honda to set up the raffle, which will raise money for grants for new teams, financial assistance, tournaments and camps for the association in the Washington-area and nationwide.
“We are incredibly grateful to Alex,” said Mike Hickey, president of the association, in a press release. “Our motto is ‘where every player is a star.’ Alex is truly a star, and through his generosity, he’s giving a lot of children a chance to shine.” For more information about the raffle, visit specialhockeyraffle.com.