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by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY - The Brad Richards Foundation today announced its plans for the upcoming year that include the continuation of the Richy’s Rascals Suite Escape Program and two new programs entitled Task Force 19, aimed at military appreciation, and Richy’s Hot Shots, which will benefit youth hockey in the Tampa Bay area.

‘We are very pleased to be able to increase the scope of our involvement in the Tampa Bay community,” said Richards upon making the announcement today. “The Richy’s Rascals program continues to do wonderful things reaching so many children and their families. That work will continue for us just as it has for the past few years.

“But we thought now was the time to reach out to youth hockey and to the military in Tampa Bay to see how we might be able to help in these areas as well. We look forward to helping motivate youngsters on and off the ice through Richy’s Hot Shots, and the goal of Task Force 19 is to thank the men and women that defend our freedom and support our quality of life every day.”

Since the start of the 2003-2004 NHL season, Richards has been providing pediatric oncology patients and their families with a true “suite” escape. The Prince Edward Island, Canada native purchased a luxury suite at the St. Pete Times Forum and has donated the use of the suite to children and their families affiliated with the Children’s Cancer Center, Inc. and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Inc. Through “Richy’s Rascals Suite Escape” the Brad Richards Foundation has touched the lives of hundreds of children and families affected by childhood cancer. This year the suite will continue to be improved with the addition of new flooring in the suite bathroom that will replicate the actual Tampa Bay Lightning locker room carpeting.

New this year will be the Task Force 19 program which will implement military appreciation and recognition programs throughout the year. The first event to be held will be held in two weeks when Richards hosts selected soldiers and their families for an early Thanksgiving dinner at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club.

Also introduced on Friday was Richy’s Hot Shots which will provide monthly recognition and an annual grant program for youth hockey beginning this month. Each month local hockey coaches will nominate players from which three will be chosen to receive a grant to pay for the following season’s travel or hockey expenses.

The Brad Richards Foundation, Inc. was created to expand the charitable scope of the Richy’s Rascals vision and to extend a helping hand to many outstanding Tampa Bay area organizations. The original process of founding the organization began in late summer of 2006 and in the fall of 2007 the Brad Richards Foundation, Inc. was deemed a 501 (c) (3) organization.

The Brad Richards Foundation, Inc. is devoted to assisting those less fortunate, to creating and contributing to causes that provide exceptional experiences and treatment for children and families enduring chronic and/or life threatening illness, and to the advancement of youth and amateur sports.

For further information, please contact Kasey Dowd at (813) 919-1546.
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