TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Dot and Ken Conklin as the 19th Lightning Community Heroes of the 2016-17 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Winnipeg Jets. The Conklin's, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Voices for Children Guardian ad Litem and Sertoma Youth Ranch.
Dot and Ken Conklin have spent 19 and 14 years, respectively, protecting the rights of and advocating for children in Tampa through their work with the Guardian ad Litem Program of Hillsborough County. Working both in tandem and individually, the Conklin's are the "go-to" guardians for the most difficult cases, involving both sibling groups and individual children who might otherwise end up in untenable situations of abuse or neglect. The Conklin's are on the job 24/7, often handling 7-8 cases at a time. They never hesitate to accept a case, and work nonstop to make certain no child assigned to them is left without appropriate help.
Serving as guardians, Dot and Ken have touched the lives of over 80 children over the past 19 years and have spent tens of thousands of hours volunteering. Their work has reunited families, protected children, and likely saved lives along the way. Together, the Conklin's have assured that children across Tampa Bay are surrounded by a balanced, healthy, and nurturing environment.
The Conklin's become the 248th Lightning Community Heroes 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 $12.55 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. Last summer, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.