TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Carol LoCicero as the 22nd Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Calgary Flames. LoCicero, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the nonprofit End 68 Hours of Hunger.
LoCicero became aware of this issue when she saw a TV news story about high school students living in cars and motels, and going hungry at night and on the weekends. Through Carol's strong compassion, initiative and commitment, she established the Tampa chapter of End 68 Hours of Hunger. This is a volunteer organization that provides nourishing food for school children and families who are "food insecure", or at risk of going hungry over the weekend. LoCicero gained the approval and commitment from Hillsborough County Public Schools personnel, while inspiring local volunteers, setting up infrastructure and soliciting funds and foods from the many donors needed.
There are approximately 68 hours between the school-provided meals on Friday and the following Monday, during which time children can be without food. This organization has been the answer for up to 150 school children per week from 53 families and has provided over 40,000 meals in just the last school year. The whole family benefits since all children of a family receive food, regardless of whether they attend school. A total of two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners and snacks are provided.
Carol LoCicero becomes the 293rd 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 $14.75 million to more than 300 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.