TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Bill and Sally Israel as the 19th Lightning Community Heroes this season during the first period of today's game against the Detroit Red Wings. The Israels, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services.
For years Bill and Sally Israel have invested their time, talent and treasure to Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, an organization whose mission is to protect the vulnerable while helping people of all backgrounds through empowerment and strengthening families.
Bill served on the board of directors for 36 years, steering the organization to continued growth and success, while Sally championed food drives and advocated for the agency's programs area-wide. As a lasting tribute, the food pantry at Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, which serves more than 2,500 people annually, now bears their names.
The Israel's become the 430th 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 today's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $22.45 million to more than 750 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Viniks announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.