TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Skip Wilson as the 21st Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Wilson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to Family Promise of Greater Brandon so that the organization can continue helping families in the community.
Skip, a retired Air Force Reservist, recognized the trend of families in Hillsborough County who are caught in the cycle of homelessness. Because of this, his vision and leadership skills, along with countless hours of hard work, resulted in the creation of a nonprofit organization called Family Promise of Greater Brandon. The organization is now three years old and partners with homeless families to help them regain their independence and find permanent housing. The impact of Skip's work is immeasurable because with each family helped, the cycle of homeless is broken.
Through mandatory education and accountability, the Family Promise program enables moms and dads to reenter the workforce and provide for their families. It also offers stability for infants, toddlers and school age children who struggle with the stigma associated with being homeless. The belief in giving struggling families a hand up rather than just a hand out is truly what drives Skip's passion. He will do whatever it takes to make this community a better place, one family at a time.
Skip Wilson becomes the 292nd 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 $14.7 million to more than 300 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.