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Washington Capitals defensemen make dreams come true

The Washington Capitals made dreams come true Friday afternoon at Kettler Iceplex. Their annual dreams for kids D.C. event opens up a whole new world to children with physical and developmental disabilities.

About 100 children from across the Washington region raced or wobbled up and down the Capitals' practice rink.

A few even got some assistance from a couple of pros: Capitals defensemen Karl Alzner and Brooks Orpik.

Alzner said, “You want to give them something in their day that's different and break things up and let them have fun.”

Both players spent a couple of hours at the event, signing autographs and pushing children in sleds around the rink.

Greg Little is a longtime Caps fan and the father a 15-year old girl who participates in the program.

“It's great of these [Capitals players] to give up their time to come and do this with these kids. I mean it's remarkable,” Little said.

With events throughout the year, the organization Dreams for Kids D.C. strives to empower children with special needs and help them make new friends.

And for some of the children, the annual event is their first time ever on the ice. Parents call the experience life-changing.

After his time at the event last year, five-year old Brayden Segal has now embraced hockey.

His mother Jami Segal said, “We started out at Special Olympics and then we ended up at private lessons ‘cause he just wanted to go so much.”

She said hockey has been helping Brayden overcome limitations from autism, boosting his self-esteem and improving his communication skills.

“This is a kid who can't come home and tell me what he did during the day,” she said. “But if he sees these pictures of these events, he has such a tie to it that he's able to discuss it - and in detail.”

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