TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Frank Murphy as the 27th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Detroit Red Wings. Murphy, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the Mentoring with Purpose Charity.
When Frank was 15 years old he was incarcerated and written off by many in his community. He knew he had big dreams to play in the NFL, but not much support around him. He beat the odds and reached his dream, but while in the NFL Frank witnessed the need for character development and mentoring for athletes and youths. Few people were teaching them how to have character and integrity, which inspired Frank to develop a leadership curriculum to mentor and train young athletes. Murphy now works to break the cycle of poverty, and over the last 17 years Frank has provided young adults in Tampa Bay with the tools and inspiration it takes to change minds and build leaders.
Murphy has personally logged over 10,000 volunteer hours on his own and in partnership with Revealing Truth Ministries and the Tampa Police Athletic League. He has served thousands through character and leadership sports camps, speaking in public schools, speaking to local sports teams and mentoring those who are incarcerated. Frank hopes that his story of overcoming his criminal background and dreaming big can get his message of hope and empowerment across to those in need.
Frank Murphy becomes the 298th 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 $15 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.