TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Katherine Newcomb as the 31st Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of this afternoon's game versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Newcomb, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half of the funds to the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC), while the other half will go to a scholarship for her own education.
Katherine, a senior at Riverview High School, has accumulated over 200 hours of community service through volunteering and is also an active member of her school's National Honor Society chapter and swim team. Due to her background in swimming and lifeguarding, she realized that residents in the Tampa Bay area are especially vulnerable to potential drowning due to the abundance of beaches, lakes and pools.
Newcomb's initiative with BSAC will address and combat this issue on a local scale by teaching at-risk and disadvantaged youth how to swim through BSAC's Learn-to-Swim Program. This project will provide over 400 free swim lessons to children ages three to 13 by providing them with basic water safety skills. Katherine's involvement with BSAC, their partners and her relationships with other lifeguards and swim instructors will enable her to make a change and potentially save lives, one swim lesson at a time.
Katherine Newcomb becomes the 302nd 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 $15.2 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.