TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Frank Chivas as the 43rd Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of Game 2 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Chivas, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation and Clearwater for Youth.
Chivas is best known for his stable of restauraunts - Island Way Grill, Salt Rock Grill, Marlin' Darlin, Rumba, Salt Rock Tavern and, soon, the Marina Cantina at the Clearwater Beach Marina. When he was 11 he lost his father, a commercial fisherman, and was placed into foster care. This drove him to become devoted to helping children in need. Now he works with multiple charities, including Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Boys & Girls Club, Clearwater 4 Youth, UPARC and Clearwater Marine Aquarium. In honor of his work with these organizations and the community, Frank was named Mr. Clearwater at the 93rd annual meeting of the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Another organization that Chivas works with is the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation. He has served on the board since 2006 and is currently the vice chairman. In 2007, Frank pushed for the expansion of the academy's campus to create an elementary and middle school for 95 at-risk students. To honor these efforts Chivas was given the 2008 Chi Chi Humanitarian of the Year Award. Frank recently pioneered a $100,000 gift to the Pinellas Education Foundation which will be matched by the state of Florida for a total of $200,000. These funds will be used over the next 10 years for Chi Chi Academy student two-year college scholarships.
Frank Chivas becomes the 368th 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 $18.4 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.