The Tampa Bay Lightning will collect non-perishable food items, as well as supplies, prior to the team’s final remaining home game on Friday, April 8 against the Florida Panthers to aid the residents of Progress Village who were affected by the area’s severe thunderstorms last week.
Prior to entering the arena to catch all the action of Lightning hockey, fans are encouraged to stop by the collection bins on the west plaza, as well as outside of section 112 on the plaza level of the St. Pete Times Forum, to donate non-perishable food items, batteries, toiletry items, trash bags and bottled water. Financial contributions will also be accepted.
The Lightning Foundation will pledge a contribution of $5,000 to the relief effort and will work closely with community partners Progress Village Middle Magnet School for the Arts, Phase One Track Club and M&M Educational Athletic Group prior to the game to receive donations. All items collected will be presented to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and distributed to the residents of Progress Village who are in need.
The severe storms that swept through the Bay Area on March 31 left thousands of residents without power and shelter, as well as claimed responsibility for structural damage to many buildings that residents call their businesses and homes. Hillsborough County officials deemed the Progress Village neighborhood one of the city’s most uninhabitable after many homes were destroyed due to flooding, while also estimating approximately $1.4 million worth of damage throughout the entire county area.