TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Clemmie Perry as the fourth Lightning Community Hero of the 2017-18 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Detroit Red Wings. Perry, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to several non-profits including Women of Color Golf, Florida Sports Hall of Fame, Where Love Grows and the Centre for Women.
Back in 2013, Perry's brother gave her golf lessons as a Christmas gift. This present allowed her to realize her knack for the game and love of the sport. She found golf exciting and soon realized the overall health benefits along with the business and networking opportunities the sport offered. However, Perry immediately realized that out on the golf course she rarely saw any minority women. As a result, within a year of picking up the game, she began building two community-based golf programs called Women of Color Golf and Girls on the Green Tee to provide minority women and girls a pathway to learn about the benefits of golf and its economic, health and business impact.
In just three short years these programs have allowed over 300 women and young girls in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg area to be trained on the fundamentals of golf. Women of Color Golf has united the local golf community by using eight different facilities for training and has created job opportunities for multiple Bay Area golf instructors. This program also provided a girl's golf workshop at the PowHerful Summit, impacting approximately 600 middle and high school age girls. Additionally, Girls on the Green Tee has been able to expose young girls to positive role models as well as possible golf careers. These programs help to address the needs of girls whose individual or family circumstances include risk factors that could impede their futures.
Clemmie Perry becomes the 277th 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 $13.95 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.