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Lee Bird Leavengood honored as Lightning community hero

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Valtteri Filppula joined Lightning owner Jeff Vinik to present Lee Bird Levengood with a check for $50,000.

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Lee Bird Leavengood as the fourth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Leavengood, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Tampa Bay History Center and Osher Lifetime Learning Institute at USF.

Everyday life is brighter and more enriching for hundreds of senior citizens living in Tampa Bay because of the hard work Leavengood has done with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Seniors are offered workshops and seminars at the University of South Florida and Leavengood’s two years of hard works makes it all possible. More than 10,000 seniors have broadened their horizons through the 300 low-cost, high quality courses that OLLI offers on an annual basis at 16 accessible classroom sites throughout Hillsborough County.

Leavengood has translated her passion for lifelong learning into a program that is known nationwide for enriching the minds and lives of senior citizens throughout Tampa Bay. She has led a variety of USF programs for individuals 55 or older, reaching a pinnacle as Director of USF’s newly created Division of Senior Programs in 1974. Leavengood has been a volunteer leader for a variety of community organizations, including Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, United Way, and the Tampa Bay History Center, as well as the vice chair of Florida’s Status of Women Commission.

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