The Tampa Bay Lightning recognized Bill Richards as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins. Richards, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will divide the money among his charities of choice, Feeding America, St. Anne’s Food Pantry and Mary & Martha House. As a result of tonight’s donation, the Lightning Community Heroes program has now reached the $1,000,000 plateau to date.
Richards, a Lightning Season Ticket Member for more than 10 years, exemplifies how a retired individual can take his skills, background and passion to makes things better for those less fortunate. At 84 years old, Richards refuses to let his age slow him down when it comes to serving the community. Among the various capacities in which Richards serves is volunteering to feed the homeless, collecting clothes at various donation centers and making the most of limited resources to ensure that no individual goes without food or shelter.
In the early 1990s, Richards established the Food Pantry at St. Anne’s Church in Ruskin. It wasn’t until after the first few days before Richards realized the unexpected, yet widespread epidemic of homelessness in the Bay Area. From that moment forward, Richards vowed never to leave the facility grounds until every visitor had received food, clothing, shelter or other aid. His passion for helping never ceases to appear as he always follows through until a solution is put in place.
To nominate a Lightning Community Hero or to learn more about the Lightning Community Heroes program, fans are encouraged to visit http://Tampabaylightning.com/communityheroes.