TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Brittany Vanhook as the eighth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Florida Panthers. Vanhook, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Epilepsy Services Foundation.
Vanhook was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2010 but her condition has not affected her devotion to public service. She has been a driving force behind the success of Brittany's Blankets for Epilepsy, a program that provides hand-made blankets to organizations that serve the homeless. An estimated 5,000 people have been touched by her charitable efforts. Additionally, she has also spent over 200 hours in making blankets for the program and spends countless hours making arts and crafts items for fundraising events.
Tonight's Lightning Community Hero continues to lead by example and will pursue to give to those in need along with her friends, family, donors and the community. The legacy that she wants to leave is for people to not feel sorry for her or reject her because of her condition but to be cared for and loved like other children who are experiencing the same condition.