meet the creators of

the assist kit

Paige dowd

Paige studied speech-language pathology at St. Cloud State University, from where she graduated in 2015. Paige was an Autism Therapist while Nic was playing for the LA Kings, but after being traded then signing with a new team the following year, it was hard for her to maintain a career in that field and move to be with Nic and support him. She wanted to find a way to combine both of their passions, so they started Dowd’s Crowd when they joined the Capitals organization. Dowd’s Crowd is a program that invites families to a game who have a family member with autism. The families are provided with sensory kits and a meet and greet post-game!

Paige has always been passionate about working with people with disabilities whether it's through clinical work or the community. Nic's career has made it even more possible for Paige to reach a bigger audience when it comes to fundraising, charity initiatives and making a difference.

Kodette LaBarbera

Kodette and Jason LaBarbera's son Ryder was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 in 2012 when Jason was playing for the Arizona Coyotes. Since then, Kodette has worked tirelessly to raise funds and awareness for Autism, including appearing on the show "Hockey Wives" where she showcased their journey. Since then, Kodette has remained committed to ensuring Ryder’s success through her own education and by raising funds and awareness for research and support programs with multiple local and national organizations.
Kodette has always made it a priority to make a commitment to her community by getting involved in local volunteer activities and charities close to her heart. Her philanthropic efforts have resulted in over $1,500,000 raised for multiple charities in Canada and the United States. Jason has retired from the NHL and is currently working as a goalie coach for the Calgary Flames and Hockey Canada.