TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored George B. Howell III as the second Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Vancouver Canucks. Howell, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Tampa Bay History Center and United Way Suncoast.
Howell has worked for the past 30 years throughout Hillsborough County with low-income families, veterans and service men and women who work at MacDill Air Force Base. George has donated hundreds of hours each year to volunteer work and pro bono services to individuals, small businesses, churches and other nonprofits. He launched the program MISSION UNITED, which offers employment, housing, health education, financial and pro bono legal assistance to veterans, military members and their families. Additionally, George has served for more than 10 years as a pro bono client with the True Faith Inspirational Baptist Church, a small African American church in downtown Tampa.
For more than 26 years, Howell has been a member of the Board of Trustees for the Tampa Bay History center and served as its Chair from 2000 to 2009 where he helped plan, develop and create the brand new LEED Certified building which serves as a resource that houses and preserves our community's most precious cultural artifacts. While serving as former director and president of the Tampa Historical Society, the University of Tampa Board of Counselors and the Exchange Club of Tampa, George has been a driving force to make Tampa a better place.
George B. Howell III becomes the 325th 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 $16.35 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.