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Capitals' Nic Dowd raising Autism Awareness through Dowd's Crowd

Nic Dowd holds a contest to unite the Capitals community and raise awareness for Autism.

WASHINGTON — Nic Dowd joined the Capitals in 2018, and that very year he felt the need to help some very special hockey fans. Nic and his wife Paige, partnered with Autism Speaks and "Dowd's Crowd" was born.

Dowd's Crowd is a program to help children with autism attend and enjoy Capitals games providing families with tickets and sensory kits for children, allowing them to relax and watch the game without any triggers.

"Yeah its been pretty special to see fan engagement and I think it's great too because a lot of the children who are submitting these pieces don't have autism and it's shedding light on kids that do," says Nic Dowd.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and the Dowds kick started a new venture this month to bring more awareness. Fans of all ages are asked to help design a new logo for Dowd's Crowd. That logo will be printed on bags that contain the game sensory kits. Contest submissions have been pouring in through social media.

Nic says, "It's been really good. The submissions have been really great. I have teammates who have joined in. So it's been really exciting. "

The winner of this contest will receive tickets to a future home game, and a meet and greet with the Dowds. It's something Nic is really looking forward to; meeting the winner, and of course getting back to the ice.

"Yeah I cannot wait! It's been a weird thing because usually when hockey ends, you have a sense of closure, whether you made the playoffs or you lost or you won or you didn't make the playoffs and there's been a sense of closure. It's just the unknown of when are we going to start," says Nic.

Still no word on when the NHL will start back up again, but selecting a winner for the "Dowd's Crowd" logo contest will certainly keep Nic and Paige busy in the near future. Submissions are due by this Friday, May 1st.

You can download a blank puzzle piece outline at Washcaps.com and complete the design. Completed submissions can be emailed to capscare@washcaps.com

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