TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Debbie Baigrie as the fifth Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Detroit Red Wings. Baigrie, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Trinity Cafe.
The Trinity Cafe has a philosophy that whatever their circumstance, everyone deserves dignity, respect, humanity and a chance, and for Debbie this isn't just a philosophy, it's her lifestyle. Baigrie was shot by a minor in a botched robbery attempt, and unlike most, Debbie kept in contact with the boy and provided support and encouragement for him to better himself for the future. This experience inspired in her a burning desire to be the difference in other people's lives. Now she raises funds for college scholarships for at-risk youth, serves the homeless and hungry at Trinity Cafe and is exploring how to fund showers and tiny homes for the homeless.
Baigrie was the first female personal trainer in the Bay Area in the early 1990s and produced several bodybuilding competitions to benefit All Sports Community Service, a charity that funds scholarships for at-risk kids hoping to save others from making bad choices. The funds she helps raise are used to sponsor students through scholastic achievement, community service and sports. Debbie continually lives by the philosophy of helping the community one person at a time.
Debbie Baigrie becomes the 328th 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 $16.5 million to more than 400 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.