TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Bob McIntyre as the 41st Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Washington Capitals. McIntyre, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate to Pinellas Education Foundation and the Beth Dillinger Foundation.
30 years ago, Bob began a garage operation which eventually turned into a surge-protection powerhouse as industry-leader DITEK. When this family run business started it sponsored a single Little League team and now it is on the verge of reaching the million-dollar mark in contributions to the Pinellas Eduction Foundation and sponsors two-dozen teams. The Pinellas Education Foundation has been Bob's personal mission over the years as a board chair and board member. He is all about the kids and supporting PEF's innovative initiatives to provide college and career guidance, mentorship and scholarships. Under Bob's leadership, the Foundation and school district's efforts in Career Technical Education rose to national recognition. PEF is one of only two Ford Next Generation Learning Communities to have been bestowed national recognition of a model community.
McIntyre's involvement with Take Stock in Children, a college scholarship and mentoring program has led to the participation of more than 500 low income students. His leadership in advancing career technical education in elementary to high school has led to the number of students earning career technical certifications to grow from 2,500 to almost 13,500. Each year, the PRIDE Awards (Program to Recognize Initiative and Distinction in Education) honor Pinellas County Schools students for their academic achievement and commitment to learning. Several years ago, the PRIDE Awards were in danger of ending due to the cost of putting on the program so Bob and DITEK became an event sponsor and made a sizable financial contribution to the program that allows honorees to receive trophies commemorating their achievement. McIntyre also supports the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office programs such as Ride with the Stars, the Sheriff's Golf Tournament, and the Bob Parlaman Memorial Fund.
Bob McIntyre becomes the 366th 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 $18.3 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.