TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Hanna Weber as the third Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Weber, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half to Tampa Museum of Art, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for her own education.
Hanna, a freshman at the University of North Florida, serves as a member of the Youth Council at the Tampa Museum of Art. Over the past two years she has donated over 500 hours of community service and served as Youth Council President. While volunteering she was exposed to the ways in which art and museums affect the community and developed a drive to explore the ways in which art gives back. As President, Weber aided in implementing the Teen Open Studio program, an on-site free studio for teens which offers a safe space for expression and discussion in a time where many teens live in fear.
Hanna's initiative is going to cover the cost of the technology, software and hardware needed to supply the most up to date resources and expand the studio offerings for Teen Open Studio. In today's changing world, it is vital for teens to have technical training and exposure to new media in the arts which this program will supply. Additionally, this program will be designed and managed by teens which gives the opportunity for them to develop as leaders and young adults.
Hanna Weber becomes the 326th 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 $16.4 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.