TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Judith and Donald Turnbaugh as the 41st Lightning Community Heroes this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Boston Bruins. The Turnbaugh's, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Over the past two decades, the Turnbaugh's have dedicated their time to serving NAMI, an organization that helps individuals and families achieve recovery from mental health problems at no cost at all. Their donation of time and money into the Pinellas County affiliate of NAMI sparked growth for the organization that continues to provide support, education and advocacy to all in need. The two have made a personal commitment to educate the community about mental illness and to do whatever they could to diminish the stigma surrounding it.
Their compassion and kindness have touched not only those directly impacted by mental illness, but has extended into local communities as a resource for educating many thousands of people in schools, churches and law enforcement about the challenges faced by those affected by mental health issues. Judith and Donald have brought new programs to the area including Crisis Intervention Team training, which teaches law enforcement officers how to respond to mental health crisis calls and de-escalate situations to ensure officer and citizen safety.
Judith and Donald Turnbaugh become the 312th Lightning Community Heroes 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 $15.7 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.