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Lightning Foundation Launches Community Heroes Program

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning

TAMPA BAY – The Lightning Foundation, charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Lightning, launched the first of three nominating periods today for its ‘Lightning Community Heroes’ program,

an initiative designated to distribute a generous portion of the $10 million dollar pledge by owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, to deserving non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay community over the next five years.

“Penny and I are pleased that our vision for touching lives in the Tampa Bay community is becoming a reality," said Vinik upon making the announcement. "We look forward to our Home Opener on October 17, when we will celebrate our first Lightning Community Hero by sharing his or her inspirational story with Lightning fans and awarding his or her non-profit organization $50,000. It will be a great night.”

Throughout each of the team’s 41 regular season home games in 2011-12, the Lightning will honor a Community Hero and also award $50,000 to an eligible non-profit organization that represents that Hero's cause. Over the course of the season, a total of $2,050,000 will be handed out to worthy community causes.

Fans are encouraged to log on to to receive additional details about the program, as well as to nominate deserving individuals who are making the Tampa Bay area a better place to live, work and play. There will be three nomination deadlines throughout the season, including the first on August 15, 2011. Two additional dates have been set for November 1, 2011 and February 1, 2012. Once a nomination for a Lightning Community Hero has been submitted, the nominee will be asked to provide information about the 501(c)(3) organization to which he or she would like to designate the award, should he or she be selected.

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