TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Elio Navarro as the 11th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the New York Rangers. Navarro, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Xable Foundation, Idlewild Baptist Church, the Jewish Community Center, Families of SMA and the First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace.
Eric Brewer joined Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik to present a $50,000 check to Elio Navarro.
Since 2004, Navarro has started two non-profit charities to support the growth of power soccer in the Tampa Bay area. He traveled the country to train hundreds of new athletes, mostly kids between the ages of five and 15 who suffer from forms of Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, amputees and spinal cord injuries. Navarro learned the sport of soccer while he taught it, but ended up taking teams from the Tampa region to national tournaments each year.
In addition to coaching, Navarro has produced more than 250 online webcasts to further his outreach, expanding his visibility across the nation. He inspires hope to those who are disabled and want to participate in sports. He lives a full life with no boundaries and wants to show through example that kids can grow up living a full life. Navarro has also helped launch the USPSA, the governing body of Power