Capitals help make wish come true for AACC student


Courtesy of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic

Second-year undecided student Will Mumford’s eagle mosaic is on display in the Washington Capitals’ practice complex, thanks to Make-A-Wish.

Aidan Gunn, Reporter

A second-year undecided student’s wish came true in December when the Washington Capitals displayed a mosaic he designed in the building where the team practices. 

Will Mumford, 19, a brain tumor survivor, recreated one of the team’s logos out of red, white and blue glass tiles as a part of the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic program that grants wishes to critically ill children.

Mumford, who has participated in a National Hockey League program called Hockey Fights Cancer, has grown close with the team over the years and has even become friends with some of the players.

“It’s just really cool to, like, have a relationship with these guys,” Mumford said. “They know me somewhat. You know, it’s really cool.”

The team has invited Mumford to multiple events to hang out with players, skate in the arena before a game and even get recognized in a special pregame ceremony.  

Mumford “pretty much met most of the Stanley Cup roster,” he said. 

When Make-A-Wish accepted Mumford in late 2019, he decided to use his wish to give back to the Capitals organization.

“I decided I wanted to do some … art piece or that sort of thing in the community,” he noted. 

Mumford has been passionate about mosaics since a young age, when he learned about the art form in school. 

“My elementary school did, like, cultural arts stuff,” Mumford said. “So one of the things they did was have a mosaic artist visit. Each student got to make a little circle and then she put that onto the larger mosaic.”

Mumford said the decision to partner with the Capitals was an easy one. 

He began constructing the eagle by making a smaller model, which he said was crucial to perfecting the final product. 

“There’s a lot of things on the smaller one that I changed on the larger one,” Mumford said. “And … I’m a lot happier with how it looks on the larger one, because … there were just … some things I messed up and some things I wasn’t happy with.” 

He used various shapes and colors to recreate the Capitals’ signature eagle logo.

“Will’s always been a great spirit,” Capitals star forward Tom Wilson said in an interview with media company Monumental Sports. “He’s a lot of fun to have around and it’s been really fun getting to know him over the years. … It’s really cool to see what he did. … [I’m] super proud of Will for doing that and I think he was pretty pumped.”

Wilson wasn’t the only player who went out of the way to support Mumford. At a Capitals practice, forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Nicolas Aube-Kubel each gave him a hockey stick. 

“I got sticks from Nicks,” Mumford said.

“[It’s] really heartwarming to see the wishes come true,” Caroline Potolicchio, the Capitals’ director of fan development, said. “I think … every community that Will’s a part of, whether it be, you know, his school, or the Maryland community or the Capitals community … I think everyone’s lucky to know him.”