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Lightning Foundation Celebrates $100,000 in Cash Grants for 2009-10 Season

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Lightning Foundation awarded 25 financial grants for a total of $100,000 this afternoon at the Lightning Foundation’s Annual Grant Awards Program held this afternoon at the St. Pete Times Forum.

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In addition to the 23 grant awards to local non-profit agencies, the Lightning Foundation announced the winners of the Dave Andreychuk Scholarship, which was presented to two deserving high school seniors who are members of a high school hockey team in the Lightning Conference of Florida and who also have displayed achievement and been of excellent service to their community. The winners of the scholarships were Derek Lavezzo of Dunedin High School and Greg Lemrow of Jesuit High School.

Including the 23 grants and the two Dave Andreychuk Scholarships, the Lightning Foundation as well as the Tampa Bay Lightning donated a total of $240,000 in cash throughout the Tampa Bay area during the 2009-10 season. The charity arm of the Tampa Bay Lightning is dedicated to the support of local organizations that enrich and enhance the lives of those living throughout the Tampa Bay community, focusing its unique resources to advance amateur hockey and educational enrichment opportunities for children and families, along with medical research and treatment for those in need while making Tampa Bay a better place to live, work and play.

Each applicant was asked to detail its organization, a proposed program or project and a description of how it qualifies under the guidelines of the Lightning Foundation’s funding criteria. The Foundation’s Board of Directors selected the following organizations to receive grants:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay – The grant will fund a program which focuses on one-on-one mentoring of “Littles” from “Bigs” in a sporting environment.
  • Blooming Place for Kids, Inc. – The grant will fund the quality and regularity of a program which enriches the lives of children through leadership development and mentoring programs.
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay – The grant will focus on reinforcing and enhancing the skills and knowledge students learn at school.
  • Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center – The grant will provide funding for families who are no longer able to afford after school care for their Early Childhood/VPK, elementary and middle school aged children. 
  • Bunkers in Baghdad – The grant will fund a program sending new and used golf balls, clubs and equipment to troops currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
  • Children’s Cancer Center – The grant will fund the Holiday Card Project, which features original illustrations created by children who have cancer or chronic blood disorders and their siblings.
  • City of Safety Harbor - The grant will fund underprivileged youth in our community by providing them with a positive environment and educational opportunities. 
  • Eckerd Youth Alternatives – The grant will fund scholarships to support the educational pursuits of needy students with one or more risk factors that challenge the transition into adulthood. 
  • Florida Blood Services– The grant will fundthe improvement of lives by providing quality blood services and expediting this service with the acquisition of a new courier van.
  • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and the Pediatric Cancer Foundation – The grant will fund an initiative to bring together the nation's top doctors and researchers to fast-track new treatments and increase the survival rate for children battling cancer.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County – The grant will fund a home build honoring a volunteer of the organization who lost her battle with breast cancer. 
  • Hillsborough Head Start Community Foundation, Inc. – The grant will fund the Hillsborough Head Start Program, which currently serves 1,356 infants, toddlers and preschool age children and their families.
  • Junior Achievement of West Central Florida – The grant will fund an opportunity for children from area schools to visit JA BizTown to put into action principles they have been taught in the classroom with a one day hands-on interactive experience. 
  • Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful - The grant will fund litter abatement and prevention, beautification, and appreciation of natural resources throughout the Tampa Bay area.
  • Pinellas Education Foundation – The grant will fund a Lightning-themed area in Finance Park allowing for a reality based, hands-on simulation for students that enables them to build foundations for making intelligent lifelong personal finance decisions.
  • Polk State College Foundation – The grant will fund a scholarship awarded to one Polk State College student who is a graduate of George Jenkins High School annually or who is an adult hoping to better themselves upon high school graduation.
  • Ronald McDonald House Tampa Bay – The grant will fund the remodel of the Tampa House Kitchen which serves thousands of meals for families with children receiving medical treatment at Tampa General, St. Joseph’s Children’s and Shriners hospitals. 
  • Seniors in Service Tampa Bay - The grant will fund an initiative of the Foster Grandparent Program, which mobilizes low income senior citizens in helping low performing, at risk children achieve success. 
  • SERVE Volunteers in Education – The grant will help fund opportunities for 70,000 students yearly to learn about a variety of subjects from guest speakers. 
  • St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa - The grant will fund up to eight additional trips by the Mobile Medical Clinic to needed areas in our Tampa Bay community.
  • Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA  - The grant will fund The Neighborhood of Promise in Sulphur Springs, which will create secure, caring, and fun neighborhoods where children can thrive.
  • The Florida Aquarium – The grant will fund programs for at-risk, economically disadvantaged and minority youth to participate free-of-charge or at greatly reduced rates in educational enrichment experiences through the Aquarium’s exhibits and programs.
  • The Straz Center (formerly the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center) - The grant will fund teaching artists fees in order to provide arts education partnership services for 38 schools and organizations during the 2010- 2011 school year.
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