TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Carl Glassberg as the second Lightning Community Hero of the 2017-18 season during the first period of Monday's game versus the Washington Capitals. Glassberg, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services Holocaust Survivor Program.
Video: Community Hero | Carl Glassberg
Carl's wife, Irene Berger, was born in Lodz, Poland in 1930. At the age of nine she was separated from most of her family and transported to Auschwitz. A faulty mechanism in the gas chamber prevented the Nazis from executing Irene, her mother, and 1,000 other women. A few years later she was brought to the Mauthausen camp in Austria, which was liberated in 1945. Carl learned first-hand the extent of Irene's suffering under Hitler's regime on their first date in 1952. From that time on, he became a champion for Holocaust survivors.
Glassberg has served on the Gulf Coast JFCS Holocaust Advisory Committee for five years, volunteering over 100 hours to support the organization's mission to keep Holocaust Survivors in their own homes so they can live out their lives in peace and dignity. He recently assisted in raising funds that helped meet the needs of 60 Holocaust survivors who live on income considered below poverty level. With this funding, Gulf Coast JFCS could provide hearing aids, glasses, emergency medical and pharmacy expenses, and dental care for the survivors. Glassberg also donates his time to other Holocaust survivor organizations including Menorah Manor, Temple B'nai Israel and the Florida Holocaust Museum.
Carl Glassberg becomes the 273rd 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 $13.75 million to more than 300 different non-profits 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.