The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Dick Vitale as the 33rd Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Vitale, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the V Foundation.
Steven Stamkos (left) joined Lightning owner Jeff Vinik (right) to present Dick Vitale with a check for $50,000.
Vitale has spent his adult life attempting to make the Tampa Bay area better for the children in need. He has raised millions of dollars for the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota. Vitale is on the board for the V Foundation for Cancer Research and has raised millions of dollars in support of pediatric cancer research. In addition, Vitale has given five $1,000 scholarships a year to children of the Boys and Girls Club.
The Tampa resident and ESPN college basketball sportscaster has been widely recognized for his contributions to the community. He was one of 13 Magnetic Men honored by PARC, a non-profit that helps people with developmental disabilities achieve independence. In 2002, the Florida Association of Community Corrections presented Vitale with their President’s Humanitarian Award for his work with youth. 2010 saw Vitale presented with the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay’s Man of the Year Award and the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Industry Icon Award.