TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Jenna Callison as the 18th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Minnesota Wild. Callison, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half the money to Powerstories Theatre, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for her own education.
Jenna, a senior at Hillsborough High School, has a service history that dates back almost 10 years. Since then, she has volunteered approximately 480 hours at organizations such as Metropolitan Ministries, Feeding Tampa Bay and Powerstories Theatre. The majority of Callison's time has been spent at Powerstories, which is a program that helps girls at an awkward time in their lives by encouraging "lift ups, not put downs." They seek to share and stage true stories giving special emphasis on works by and for women and girls.
Jenna's initiative would pair up two nonprofits in our community. Powerstories Theatre would be the beneficiary of the Lightning Foundation's donation and the Boys and Girls Club would be the beneficiary of the services from the Theatre. Powerstories would provide guest artists and speakers to the Boys and Girls Club throughout the year. In conjunction with the Club's current GirlUP campaign, the artists would help up to 7,400 girls explore the power of their story through art projects, performing, video presentations and other forms of expression. Additionally, Powerstories will provide a special weeklong summer program at their facility for the top ten youth leaders who participate in the program, which will culminate with each participant telling her story to an audience.
Jenna Callison becomes the 289th 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 $14.55 million to more than 300 different non-profits 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.