TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Betsy Moriarty as the 20th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Moriarty, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate to A Kid's Place.
Over the past 10 years, Moriarty has made it her mission to enrich the lives of children in the foster care system. Moriarty's volunteer work with A Kid's Place, a nonprofit organization that provides a loving home for neglected children, has provided over 1,200 Tampa Bay children in foster care with positive memories they can cherish during difficult times. She organizes volunteers, arranges presents and decorates for birthday celebrations every month for children. Moriarty also coordinates Christmas celebrations complete with presents, personalized stockings and a visit from Santa Claus for children to experience.
In addition to her volunteer work with A Kid's Place, Moriarty also raises awareness in the community regarding children in foster care. She has brought in hundreds of community members who have contributed over 4,200 volunteer hours helping foster children. This year, Moriarty was the recipient of Bay News 9 Everyday Hero Award, which is awarded to individuals who play a vital role in impacting the Tampa Bay community.
Moriarty becomes the 385th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $19.4 million to more than 750 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.