TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Dr. Mike and Chris Higgins as the 23rd Lightning Community Heroes of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Edmonton Oilers. Dr. Mike and Chris Higgins, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Hope Children's Home.
For more than a decade, Mike and Chris Higgins have become a guiding light to more than 400 children in need around the Tampa Bay area. The Higgins' took over the Hope Children's Home, becoming loving care givers to countless children. They act in a parental role for at-risk youth, providing them with a structured home life where they feel loved and valued.
Going above and beyond was not enough for the Higgins', expanding their family services, they created the Cottages of Hope Project. The facility is built on a campus which includes a school, parks and dormitories, creating a safe environment for youth. The cottages allow sibling groups to stay together, providing them with a more stable, nurturing family setting. Through the Higgins' love and dedication, they have created a system that has broken the cycle of poverty, drug abuse and high school drop outs. Roughly 90% of the children that are in Mike and Chris' care are attending college.
The Higgins become the 202nd Lightning Community Heroes since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the 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 $10.25 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.