TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Betty Castor as the 49th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of Game 1 versus the Washington Capitals. Castor, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to USF Foundation, Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the League of Women Voters.
Betty moved to Tampa in 1972 and her career in public service began when she became the first woman elected to the Hillsborough County Commission. She later went on to serve three terms as a Florida State Senator from 1976 to 1986. During her tenure, she co-sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment and championed bills to fund early childhood education and spouse abuse centers.
Castor has devoted much of her life to public service, most notably as President of the University of South Florida, Florida Commissioner of Education and President and CEO of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In addition, Betty is a founding member of the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, a past member of the Hillsborough Education Foundation and is a member of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the Tampa Bay Committee on Foreign Relations.
Betty Castor becomes the 320th Lightning Community Heroes 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 $16.1 million to more than 400 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.