Tampa Bay Lightning chief executive officer Tod Leiweke, along with his wife, Tara, will again serve as honorary chairs at this year’s fifth annual FARA Energy Ball, to be held on Thursday, September 5, at 5:30 p.m. at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. The event 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. A portion of funds will also be contributed to the University of South Florida’s Ataxia Research Center.
“We continue to be encouraged by the progression in today’s medicine that allows us to research a cure for this horrible illness,” Leiweke said. “My wife and I are again truly honored to be the honorary chairs at this great event and look forward to taking an active role in raising funds and creating awareness for this deadly disease.”
Leiweke was named CEO 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 30th season in professional sports, has helped rejuvenate the Lightning fan base during his first season in Tampa Bay. Leiweke has 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. Under Leiweke’s guidance the Lightning organization invested nearly $50-million into the Times Forum to improve the fan experience.
Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a debilitating neuromuscular disease that is caused by a lack of energy production that human cells need to properly function and for survival. Over a short period of time, FA affects muscle coordination and eventually leads to a life -altering loss of mobility, energy, speech and hearing, robbing children and young adults of the 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 Friedreich’s Ataxia.