TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Dwight Raines as the 31st Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Raines, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB).
After retiring as a middle school principal after a 35-year career in Hillsborough County Schools, Raines began volunteering at HSTB. Over the past 10 years, Raines has contributed 20,000 volunteer hours at the shelter educating potential adoptees on the care, responsibility and commitment of adopting animals. Raines also assists HSTB in prepping animals before surgery, training new volunteers and leading outreach programs in local schools. Every month, Raines travels to Polk County to collect animal food donations for the HSTB food assistance program.
In addition, Raines also volunteers at Toy Makers, a nonprofit organization that delivers handmade toys to children in Tampa Bay area hospitals. Raines' work with Toy Makers has helped increase the number of toys available for children. The organization now produces over 20,000 toys a year for hospitalized children in the Tampa Bay community, and Raines spends every three months delivering toys for Toy Makers.
Raines becomes the 396th 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 $19.95 million to more than 750 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.