TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Elizabeth Fowler as the fourth Lightning Community Hero of the 2016-17 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Colorado Avalanche. Fowler, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Frameworks, Champions for Children, Starting Right Now and Academy Prep.
For over 15 years, Fowler has created and sustained numerous programs and services for children and families throughout Hillsborough County, especially in the area of child abuse prevention, positive youth development and education. She became a leader and founder of The Ophelia Project and through work with teens realized that all children, preschoolers to high schoolers, needed training in social-emotional learning (SEL) to achieve success both in school and life. Thus, Frameworks was founded and within just 5 years, Frameworks and its expertise on SEL have been adopted by the Hillsborough County School District and numerous youth-serving non-profits. In an attempt to make sure children entering kindergarten at Sulphur Springs Elementary, Champions for Children and the YMCA-created Layla's House, an early childhood resource center for children 0-5 years old. Fowler and her foundation provided immense support and funded the first nine months of Layla's House operation.
Fowler has made it her mission to provide opportunities for children that will allow them to maximize their potential to become healthy, happy and productive citizens who will, in turn, give back to their communities. As a supporter and board member, Fowler has been involved with over 40 community agencies, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Lowry Park Zoo Endowment, St. Mary's School, Academy Prep and, of course, Frameworks. Last school year, Frameworks, through its Train the Teacher Model, reached 30,000 Middle Schoolers with aspirations to reach 45,000 this year. After building Frameworks from the ground up, Fowler takes immense pride in educating over 30,000 children the importance of social and emotional skills. Through her generosity, leadership and commitment to a positive future for our children, Fowler has helped create a better, stronger, and more caring community for everyone.
Fowler becomes the 233rd 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 $11.65 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.