TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Charles McKenzie as the 40th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils. McKenzie, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to FL Council of Churches, UnidosNow, the COACH Foundation, National Forum of Black Administrators, Refuge Ministries and the Haitian Association of Tampa Bay.
McKenzie is an ordained minister and a full time public school teacher in Manatee County. He has been involved in the political landscape promoting civil rights for minorities, women, farmworkers and the youth. McKenzie also ran for the U.S. Congressional District 13 bid in 2001. His love for people has led him to do missionary work in South Africa and the Philippines and was once elected to the board of the Missionary Outreach of The Philippines, Inc.
Experiencing an unstable background growing up, McKenzie developed a passion for helping the less fortunate, the underserved, the exploited and the neglected which has led to his vocation as a social activist, positively impacting the Tampa Bay community.