Tampa Bay Lightning Chief Executive Officer Tod Leiweke, along with his wife, Tara, will serve as honorary chairs at this year’s fourth annual FARA Energy Ball, to be held on Saturday, September 8, at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. The event, one of Tampa Bay’s most highly-attended fundraisers, promotes research and raises awareness for Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a rare debilitating neuromuscular disease that is caused by a lack of energy production required for human cells to function properly. The ball also benefits the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance and their local research partnership with the University of South Florida’s Ataxia Research Center.
“Through the efforts of Paul and Suzanne Avery and our friends at USF, Tampa Bay has become the center for a cure,” Leiweke said.
Leiweke was named chief executive officer of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, which includes the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Storm and the Tampa Bay Times Forum, on July 26, 2010. He also serves as an Alternate Governor for the Lightning. Leiweke is responsible for all business operations of the Lightning, Storm and the Times Forum. Leiweke, who is in his 29th season in professional sports, helped rejuvenate the Lightning fan base during his first season in Tampa Bay. Spurred by an improved product on the ice which saw the Lightning tie the franchise record for wins in a season with 46 and advance to the Eastern Conference Final, Leiweke led the team’s transformation off the ice which has resulted in the more than doubling of the team’s season ticket base while vastly increasing its footprint in the community.
In just a short period of time, FA is capable of affecting muscle coordination that could eventually lead to a life -altering loss of mobility, energy, speech, and hearing, robbing children and young adults of their ability to live an active life. FA also presents a serious risk of diabetes and life-shortening cardiac disease. The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) serves as a catalyst in public, private, scientific and patient-family communities, building worldwide support to drive medical research advances for the disease. Individuals are encouraged to visit www.curefa.org/energyball
to learn more about FA and the FARA Energy Ball.