TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Colonel John Carney Jr. as the first Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. Carney Jr., who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Lightning Foundation continues their hero program for their fourth season of a pledge made by Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to donate $10-million over five seasons.
Carney Jr. has been the driving force behind the success of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, a non-profit organization that ensures full financial funding for a college education to the surviving children of fallen Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel. Through Carney Jr.’s leadership, they know their fallen parent’s sacrifice will never be forgotten. Through Carney Jr.’s leadership, 1,035 surviving children will receive a college education, and more importantly, will know their fallen parent’s sacrifice will never be forgotten.
As a true pathfinder, Carney Jr. had the vision and foresight to take the helm of a struggling charity and build it into one of the highest rated charities in the nation. He built on his experiences as a leader and Air Force Academy football coach to achieve his vision of raising the funds necessary to ensure every child who lost a parent while serving their country received a college education. Carney Jr. is the catalyst for providing life-healing programs through the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.