April 21, 2021

CAPS: Carlson, May and Fans at Capital Area Food Bank

Approximately sixty-five Caps fan volunteers joined Caps defenseman John Carlson at the Capital Area Food Bank on Tuesday, Nov. 22 to help make a difference in the community.

Caps fans prepared weekend bags (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

To raise awareness for the Capitals Canned Food Drive presented by Volkswagen, food drive spokesman and Caps defenseman John Carlson, fans, Caps mascot Slapshot, Comcast SportsNet’s Alan May (and former Capital) and Mix 107.3’s Chilli Amar helped pack and sort donated food at the Capital Area Food Bank’s D.C. warehouse.

Fans, Chilli Amar and Alan May packing boxes (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The first task was to fill 1200 “Weekend Bags” so volunteers created an assembly line to get the items into the bags and drop off at the table where Chilli Amar, her husband Don and other fans tied the bags and then Alan “workhorse” May and fans boxed and taped up the boxes.

Chilli Amar and Alan May stopped to pose (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

“We’re here helping families who otherwise wouldn’t have food to eat on a lot of days where children don’t eat until they get to school,” explained Alan May. “We filled 1200 boxes full of food, five bags of food per box to feed kids that otherwise wouldn’t eat.”

John Carlson filling bags in assembly line (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

John Carlson became the Caps food drive spokesman because, “People aren’t as fortunate as others and anytime you can do something so simple, like help in something like this, and you see all the support we have and it makes things easy and it helps a lot of people.”

Caps presenting check for $10,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The second task was to sort the donated food into bins.

Slapshot and Caps fans sorting food (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Slapshot helped out too (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

The Capitals have home games the day before and after Thanksgiving, which means most Caps will not be with their families this week. Carlson is planning “to go over to one of my teammates.”

If you’re wondering about Carlson’s favorite Thanksgiving dish, “I really like cranberry sauce,” he said. Despite Carlson’s Italian family roots, he doesn’t do any of the cooking. “That [family tradition] ended here.”

John Carlson and Chilli Amar (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Carlson is thankful this Thanksgiving. “Thankful for such a great opportunity and never thought that I could ever be where I am today. I’m very happy to be where I am today.”

John Carlson sweeping up (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Final quotes from Alan May, “It was an amazing experience. The Caps are the number one team in DC, without a doubt, because of what they do in the community. I’m proud to be a former Cap. I’m proud to be working closely with them now. There’s not a team in the National Hockey League that does more in the community than the Washington Capitals.”

On a wall at the Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Caps volunteers at Capital Area Food Bank (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Food Drive on Wednesday, Nov. 23. First 2,000 to donate receive a John Carlson poster.

Check out the video from Caps365:

About Cheryl Nichols

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events since 2006. Cheryl has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.


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