Tom Wilson has been formally recognized for all his good deeds.
The Capitals right-winger was nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy by the Capitals organization for his involvement with Forty Three’s Friends, So Kids Can, Top Shelf Teammates as well as other initiatives, some of which he launched himself, according to the Capitals' website.
“He’s always one of the first in line to do stuff for charity,” said Capitals head coach Todd Reirden at a press conference on Wednesday. “Charity projects, started his own program this last year, just always willing to give back.”
This season, Wilson started So Kids Can, in which he donated four tickets per game to Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic children across 20 games. Wilson took the recipients in the Capitals locker room following each game for one-on-one interactions.
Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby participate with Wilson in So Kids Can, in which each athlete donates $50 (during the regular season) and $100 (during the playoffs) per win to a local nonprofit organization.
This season, the group has been raising money for Heart of America, partnering with Hendley Elementary School to supply them with 75 laptops and 45 tablets. The players surprised the school in November by announcing that Hendley was the recipient of a So Kids Can and Heart of American Foundation makeover.
Since the 2013-14 season, Wilson has been a part of Top Shelf Teammates. Through this, he donated $10,000 to the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club.
Three finalists will be announced on April 23, and the winner will be announced at the 2019 NHL Awards on June 19. The winner will receive $40,000 to benefit a charities of the winner’s choice, and two runners-up will each receive $5,000 to donate.
All nominees are nominated by their clubs, and the winner will be selected by a committee of senior NHL executives, led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, according to the NHL's website.
The selection committee will chose their winner and subsequent finalists by examining the following criteria:
- Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
- Investment of time and resources
- Commitment to a particular cause or community
- Commitment to the League's community initiatives (Hockey is for Everyone, Hockey Fights Cancer, Future Goals, Learn to Play, NHL Green, etc.)
- Creativity of programming
- Use of influence; engagement of others
The last Capital to win the award was Olaf Kolzig for the 2005-06 season. The former goaltender co-founded Athletes Against Autism after learning that his son, Carson, was autistic. Additionally, he worked closely with the Children’s Medical Center after coming to D.C. in the late 1990s, purchasing season tickets to give to hospital patients and allowing them to be his special guests at games. He raised over $650,000 through multiple charity endeavors, all contributing to his receipt of the Memorial Award.
Kolzig is the only Capital to have won the Memorial Award, putting Wilson in the position to be the second.
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