[Ed. Note: Since the RMNB group members are stationed everywhere in this area except for DC and Northern Virginia, we again had to miss out on an awesome event run by the Washington Capitals. But lucky for us, fan of the Blog, and mini-celebrity of the day Emily Karol was here to bail us out with all the details, photos and gossip. Take it away, Emily!]
Emily’s Summary of the Event
This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to attend the first-ever CapsCare Casino and Auction. Let me preface this piece with telling you, I’m an actress trying to make it in this crazy world and only had enough money for a VIP ticket and nothing else. So sadly, I didn’t bid on any of the auctions and the $50,000 “fun bucks” they gave us remained in my program the whole evening. I forgot to trade it in for the 5 raffle tickets, eh… c’est la vie.
I booked a room at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center for the evening. They offered a discounted rate for a huge room if you were with the Capitals and I knew I would not be capable of driving my car the hour it would take me to get back to Annapolis, MD. Anyways, Check-In for the event began at 6pm, with the VIP portion starting at 6:30. I was, of course, fashionably late and didn’t arrive until a mere 5 minutes before the VIP party began. The line was long and the ages ranged from 60′s to 21. (No one under 21 the whole event, there was an open bar after all. Two in the VIP room and four in the casino).
There is one phrase that came to mind when I walked in the VIP room. Complete Chaos. It has nothing to do with the way the Capitals organization handled this portion. No, it’s what happens when you take about 100/150 people and let them loose in a room that usually houses business-meetings but was now hosting the number 1 team in the East of the NHL. The guys were casually spread around the room, so one could just walk up to them and ask for a picture, autograph, and most times just hold a casual conversation. I decided to take the first 20 minutes and observe the room from a bar table. (Didn’t figure out until the end of the VIP, that I was sitting next to the table with all of the players wives/ girlfriends). Neuvi was the only member of the team not at the event. After doing one trip around the room with my Merlot in hand, I decided I needed to jump in and meet some of the players. I tried to get all of the Young Guns, but Semin alluded me every time I got a glimpse. The players were extremely personable and gave attention to each high-paying fan that approached them. I was able to track down and get photographed with Green, Backstrom, Laich, Fleischmann, (Brendan) Morrison, Knuble, Ovi, Laing, Bradley, and Alzner. The guys were extremely nice and very personable. (I could write a detail of each meeting but that would take forever, just drop me a message on twitter if you want specifics.) Let me just say though that every one does #needmorebradley and also they #needmoreknubleandlaing.
7:30 finally rolled around and we were being casually ushered out of the room by a dinner bell. There was no “alright, get out. Now.”, it was more “please go spend your money on the casino and enjoy dinner”. So the ranks of fans swelled from 150 to about 600. I now had access to a huge ballroom which housed the casino tables, seating-areas that were on raised platforms with white leather couchs, food galore, and a house band keeping the music going all night. Not once did the event feel over-crowded though. The players were let-loose onto the casino floor, and they gambled away there money at many of the tables. They stopped and posed with fans when anyone asked. The casino was completely mellow and I found myself running into a bunch of the players and chit-chatting with them. Especially, Knuble at the sushi table and the consensus was that it all looked amazing and one of us should run off with a platter.
Outside of the casino was the silent auction tables and the Rock Band and Wii Bowling stations. I also found service for my iphone and was able to tweet about things more immediately. I spent most of my evening in this area because some hilarious things ensued: Ovi, Laich, Fehr, and the Red Rockers failing “Eye of the Tiger” on Rock Band, Fleischmann “trying” to play Rock Band, Mr. Nasty being quietly intense on wii bowling and meeting Sloan, Stretch and Nate Ewell in one fell swoop. Then something really exciting happened to me. I made my way back over to Rock Band and before a huge crowd developed, was able to offer my services as a singer for the next few rounds. I got to rock out “Eye of the Tiger” with Theo on the drums and Mr. Nasty playing guitar (on the Hard level, I might add). We got to play a few more songs together while a crowd formed and took pictures. That was definitely a highlight of my evening, and I love the pictures that http://capitals.nhl.com have of me with Theo and Schultz.
Around 9:20, it was announced that the live auction would start in the ballroom. One by one the guys lined up onstage with each item they were a part of. Green stood up onstage with a portrait of himself. He did not paint this, but it was from his personal collection. Another item was a ping-pong tourney with Morrison, Green, Backstrom, and Fleischmann at the Phonebooth. Boudreau got in on the action and was auctioning off the chance to attend a cocktail party at his residence with Dean and Bob and their wives. Boudreau made sure to get in a few quips during the bidding, offering a sauna at his place to the winner, but there will be no sleepover. Haha. I didn’t document each winning bid, but I can safely say that they all ranged between $6000 and $9000. A lot of money was raised during the live auction alone, that will benefit the Capitals charities.
Sadly, 10 o’clock rolled around and people started filing out of the ballroom and waiting in line at the coat check. I didn’t rush, since all I had to do was stumble up to the 10 floor. (Told you, it would come in handy. I was completely exhausted.) The players slowly dispersed and heading off to other destinations, whether glamorous or domestic. I discovered a crowd of people in the main lobby watching the OT of the football game. Schultz, Pothier, and Laing were all up there watching the game. The game and the CapsCare Casino and Auction ended in that overtime field goal.
I had an unbelievable time and it was completely worth $400 for the VIP ticket. I can’t wait to hear about how much the event raised for charity. I know I had a blast and it looked like every one else and the players did too. Bravo to Ted Leonsis and the Washington Capitals. You thoroughly entertained this fan.
Emily’s Tweets During the Night
Video of the Night Courtesy of the Washington Capitals
Also, check out the photos from the Capitals Website.