TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Lynne Knowles as the 30th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the San Jose Sharks. Knowles, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) and Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office (DACCO).
Tonight's community hero is known for fighting adversity and making a widespread difference in the community. Knowles daughter, Jamie, died at the age of 23 from an accidental overdose and has turned a loss of life into a dedicated fight against substance abuse. She has volunteered over 4,000 hours with NOPE, providing presentations to middle and high school students that share her daughter's experience with addiction.
Her presentations have reached out to the lives of more than 27,000 students and has opened the line of communication between students, teachers, administration and parents. Knowles hopes the negative stigma from addiction is eradicated in addition to giving hope to those who hear Jamie's story.
Knowles becomes the 209th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.6 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.