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Orpik Puts in Work for the Community

June 3, 2019
by Taryn Bray @tarynbray / WashingtonCaps.com




Not every team is lucky enough to have a guy like  Brooks Orpik who is universally liked and respected in the locker room and also serves his community whenever he has the opportunity.

On Saturday, Orpik stopped by Fort Dupont Ice Arena to help with the Capitals and MSE Foundation service project to help spruce up the rink.

He's a guy without a contract for the 2019-20 season yet still making an impact in the community -- and in the offseason, nonetheless.

"He's an incredible individual and anyone who's met him knows how sincere and wonderful he is," said Ty Newberry, Executive Director and General Manager of Fort Dupont Ice Arena.

"Any time there's something at Fort Dupont, he makes an effort to come out here and be a part of the community."

Throughout the day, Orpik helped paint lines in the parking lot, pulled weeds growing along the outside of the rink, took photos and chatted with the other volunteers.



Almost 100 Caps fans volunteer every year to help clean up the arena not just for Ward 7, but the entire D.C. community.

"It was cool being here with the other volunteers," Orpik said. "It doesn't really seem like work when you're doing it for a project like this."

Fort Dupont is a staple in the D.C. area as it is the only indoor public ice rink in the entire city as well as the only skating facility in the area that provides free or subsidized skating programs to children.

In Brooks' first year with the team during the 2014-15 season, former Capitals forward Joel Ward brought him to Fort Dupont to do some on ice work with the kids and coaches, so his connection to this community has lasted throughout his entire Washington career.

Due in part to his work with the rink, the importance of facilities like Fort Dupont is not lost on Orpik.

"To really grow the game, you have to get it into areas that can't normally afford it and need help from people on the outside," he said. "In order to get the game to where people hope to get it, it's crucial that people donate to programs like this."



For the last year, Fort Dupont has been raising money in order to start the renovations the rink desperately needs in order to service the community.

MSE Foundation, Ted Leonsis and many of the Capitals' players have been supporting the effort with donations but the rink still needs your help.

Fort Dupont needs to raise $5 million to support the City of Washington D.C.'s commitment of $25 million for the construction of a new, expanded rink. Once Fort Dupont raises $1.3 million (of the $5 million), the City will start the construction.

"MSE Foundation and the Washington Capitals are proud of our longstanding relationship with the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. We are thrilled that our players, staff and fans continue to come out to support the rink," said Elizabeth Pace, Executive Director of MSE Foundation.

"Fort Dupont is an integral part of the community that provides thousands of kids the chance to skate for free. We are excited to help the rink reach its goal of raising $1.3 million and invite our Caps family to join us in this endeavor. Once this goal is met, construction will begin on two new, state-of-the-art rinks."

Donations are being accepted online at  https://www.gofundme.com/fort-dupont-ice-arena-renovation, with nearly $450,000 already raised for Fort Dupont.