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TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Bonnie Hechtkopf as the Lightning Community Hero this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Hechtkopf, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to St. Pete Free Clinic.

Hechtkopf is a pillar of strength and compassion who has been instrumental in shaping the success and growth of St. Pete Free Clinic over the past three decades. Her generosity enabled the acquisition and renovation of St. Pete Free Clinic’s current food bank, and has enabled the purchase of vehicles to deliver food to underserved families around Pinellas County. With a profound dedication to public health and nutrition, Hechtkopf’s unwavering commitment has significantly advances the mission of St. Pete Free Clinic to alleviate food insecurity in Pinellas County.

The funds from tonight’s grant will be used to continue to further the mission of St. Pete Free Clinic. Specifically, the funds will be allocated towards their Food Programs, which include food distribution out of the Jared S. Hechtkopf Community Food Bank, three We Help Fresh Pantry locations, and specialized child and youth-serving partners. Jared’s Food Bank provides food to over 60 partner agencies located across 100 sites throughout Pinellas County. On average, St. Pete Free Clinic is serving 35,000 individuals per month.

Hechtkopf became the 572nd 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 tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $30.97 million to nearly 750 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the Community Hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.