TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Cindy Grant as the 23rd Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Vegas Golden Knights. Grant, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the Hillsborough County Anti-Drug Alliance (HCADA).
In 1997 Cindy lost her 19-year-old son, Dan, to a drug-related incident. Since then, Grant has dedicated her life to educating children, their parents and every person she can on the real life-and-death dangers of drugs and alcohol. She serves as the executive director of the HCADA, a nonprofit organization she supports to prevent others from suffering the avoidable deaths of loved ones to drug overdoses and alcohol. For Cindy, working to save lives is deeply personal and she shares the story of her son's story as a way to save others.
HCADA's substance abuse coalitions reach thousands of teens across Hillsborough County every school year. The organization focuses on drug and alcohol education, works to prevent underage drinking and helps youths with life skills, positive motivation and mental wellness. For many, programs like this will be the only drug and alcohol education they receive. Cindy has also created supplementary programs, including Youth Making a Difference and Students Working Against Tobacco in local cities she travels to throughout Florida.
Cindy Grant becomes the 294th 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 $14.8 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.