TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Edward "Eddie" DeBartolo Jr. as the 48th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of Game 5 versus the Boston Bruins. DeBartolo, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate $10,000 a piece to causes including education, military, children, health/cancer research and animals.
Eddie is a successful businessman, real estate investor and developer, as well as a passionate supporter of philanthropic causes related to education, healthcare, poverty, animals, sports and religious institutions. Since making Tampa Bay his home in 2001, Eddie and his family have donated more than $50 million to causes across the Tampa Bay area. He and his family's dedication to the area has been steadfast and strong since day one.
In 2007, Eddie co-founded Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School alongside Derrick Brooks. In its eleven-year history, the school has helped build thousands of life-long learners and has seen nearly 100 percent of its graduates go on to college. Additionally, the DeBartolo family are deeply involved with Frankie's Friends, a nonprofit that provides health care to pets whose families cannot afford necessary medical treatments for their animal.
Eddie DeBartolo Jr. becomes the 319th 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 $16.05 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.