TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored the Lightning fans as the 52nd Lightning Community Heroes of the season during the first period of tonight's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks, to thank the fans for all of their support. Greg Zimmer, a STM since day one and one of the Lightning's longest tenured season ticket holders, represented the fans and met with Mr. Vinik before the game. In honor of our fans, the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program is donating $100,000 donation to the Gold Shield Foundation and C.O.P.S.
For twenty three years and nearly 2,000 games, Tampa Bay Lightning fans have been an inspiration to the Tampa Bay Lightning team to play with relentless dedication to the Tampa Bay community from the start of the franchise in 1992, through this record setting season, to tonight.
It is because of Tampa Bay Lightning fans that the Lightning organization has been privileged to honor a local community hero at each home game over the past four seasons. To date 176 individuals have been recognized with this honor and have been nominated by Lightning fans.
Tampa Bay Lightning community heroes are all selfless individuals who work tirelessly to make Tampa Bay an even greater place than it was before. It's through these heroes that the Tampa Bay Lightning organization has been able to donate $8.8 million to assist over 300 non-profits throughout seven counties that continue to help make a difference in the Tampa Bay community.