TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Harsh Bagdy as the 25th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the San Jose Sharks. Harsh Bagdy, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half to Metropolitan Ministries, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for his own education.
Bagdy found a love for giving back to the community in the fifth grade when he saw the poor condition of the school's soccer field and raised $40,000 to build a new AstroTurf field. In seventh grade, Harsh secured a donation of 45 computer systems for a dedicated lab where students could take state required computer based tests. By his sophmore year, Bagdy founded Charity Health Resources, a 501(c)(3), dedicated to donating Durable Medical Equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, shower chairs etc. to people with limited to no medical coverage.
Harsh hopes to partner with Metropolitain Ministries to reach more clients through Charity Health's new program. This new program puts more Case Managers and Intervention Specialists in the community, helping MetroMin identify clients that are unable to come to their Outreach Center due to mobility deficits. Since most families in need of medical equipment would rather focus their finances on needs such as food, shelter and clothing Charity Health donates DME at no cost to the families. In order to be able to supple the equipment they partnered with MS Supply Company, a Durable Medical Equipment supplier based in Brandon. Whether is it by raising monetary donations or recycling used medical equipment, Charity Health Resources is dedicated to solving this devastating problem.
Harsh Bagdy becomes the 348th 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 $17.5 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.