Participants included Capitals players Philipp Grubauer and Devante Smith-Pelly and head coach Barry Trotz as well as Mystics players Natasha Cloud and Tayler Hill and head coach Mike Thibault.
This year 21 families were adopted through Family-to-Family, an initiative created by the Wizards 21 years ago that provides holiday cheer to underserved, deserving families in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. An additional eight families were adopted by Capitals players including Jay Beagle, Grubauer and Smith-Pelly, Mystics head coach Mike Thibault and MSE staff members.
Families played street hockey and interacted with Santa, Capitals mascot Slapshot and Red Rockers. A DJ, face painter, caricature artist and balloon artist also provided entertainment for the children.
SuperFD donated hot chocolate for the guests and Giant Grocery Stores generously donated gift cards for families. Presents for families to unwrap in celebration of holidays later this month also were distributed.
The gifts were purchased in November when Capitals and Wizards better halves, Mystics players Cloud and Hill and Valor player Tracy Belton partnered on a holiday shopping spree at Walmart to benefit more than 100 adults and children involved in this year’s program.
The party marked the seventh year that MSE sports teams have collaborated on the Family-to-Family program, which allows them to “adopt” families in need who are nominated by local schools and nonprofit organizations. The Wizards delivered presents to a number of the families on December 20.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation supports the charitable efforts of the professional teams under its umbrella: the Washington Capitals, Mystics, Valor and Wizards and Baltimore Brigade. MSE is committed to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and focuses on the following five pillars to maximize its impact and engagement with the community: youth basketball, football and hockey; education and scholarship; pediatric health and fitness; military and veterans' affairs; and hunger and homelessness.