TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Bill Losasso as the 33rd Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the New York Rangers. Losasso, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the Florida Dream Center.
At age 65, Bill started a nonprofit organization called the Florida Dream Center, which works to revitalize the poverty-stricken areas of Pinellas County and actively fights against human trafficking. He has led his organization personally every Saturday morning for three years to work with the residents of the lowest income in the most underserved communities in the area. Because of the attention this nonprofit has gained, Bill now has over 100 volunteers who participate in the program. Through Losasso's efforts in running the Florida Dream Center, thousands of people each month are receiving food, clothing and home repairs in the two neediest areas of Pinellas County.
Bill and his team distribute over 42,000 meals per month in South St. Petersburgh and have removed over 900 tons of trash and debris from the area, making the environment a more pleasing place to live. On top of this, they often go into the woods and under the bridges looking for individuals to help, where they have discovered people living in dangerous conditions. They then work to find them shelter and employment, and further connect them with social service providers and relevant agencies in order to get them as much help as possible. Losasso has made it his mission to end generations of homelessness and become a voice for those who are less fortunate.
Bill Losasso becomes the 304th 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 $15.3 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.