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Fans, Wives Give Holiday Gift to Lightning Foundation

by Mark Neifeld / Tampa Bay Lightning

On the evening of Dec. 23, just one day before Christmas Eve, most people have already wrapped up their holiday gift giving. But that’s not the case for the Tampa Bay Lightning wives and girlfriends who decided to team up and continue raising money for charity during the holiday season.

Ornaments - click images to view larger

They truly were gifts from one family to another; decorative glass Christmas ornaments designed and created by the wives and girlfriends of the Tampa Bay Lightning players.

Each one-of-a-kind ornament was handcrafted and had a personal touch from each of the players’ families.

“It’s just one of our ways of giving back,” Stephanie Foster said. “Kurtis and I just wanted to take the time out and give something with a personal touch back to the Lightning fans and allow them to display these in their living rooms. Hopefully we can raise some money for a good cause while doing so.”

Hundreds of fans in attendance to the Lightning’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers stopped by prior to the game, and during the first intermission, to check out these holiday ornaments.

“I think it’s a great gift for the holiday season,” Lightning fan Jodie Wilson said. “(The ornaments) are such a creative gift idea. It’s not like having an autographed stick, or game-used puck. They’re something that took time, that you can say nobody else has.”

One hundred percent of the donations made to purchase the ornaments will benefit the Lightning Foundation’s Annual Grant Program; something that Kasey Dowd Smith, Executive Director of the Lightning Foundation, calls “exciting.”

“This initiative is important for the wives and girlfriends, as well as the Lightning Foundation,” Dowd Smith said. “It’s a great way for the group to show their generous spirit of giving and keep with holiday traditions their families treasure. We hope to make this an annual event.”
With new additions to the team, and just months after getting to know one-another, the “Lightning Wives” have joined together multiple times this season to find ways to give back to the community that supports their spouses.

Over the past two months, they’ve been a part of the Lightning’s Toys For Tots and canned food drives, and say they’re just happy to lend a hand to the Lightning Foundation.

For now, these one-of-a-kind glass ornaments will add a little bit of Lightning spirit to a handful of lucky Bolts fans’ holiday décor. And like the 17 years of Lightning hockey tradition, year after year, a few Lightning fans can expect to add these little tokens of cheer to their own holiday seasons.

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