The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Mary Birrell as the 38th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight’s game against the Dallas Stars. Birrell, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB).
Victor Hedman (left) joined Lightning head coach Jon Cooper (right) to present Mary Birrell with a check for $50,000.
Birrell has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to making the Tampa area a better place for animals, both domestic and wild, and their owners. She has saved thousands of animals lives through her work with the Animal Health Center, the HSTB Board of Directors, and Animeals which is a "Meals on Wheel" for pets of homebound residents. Birrell scarificed many hours of her paying job in order to be the project manager for the construction of the Animal Health Center, a vital piece of the future for Tampa area animals.
Birrell is a gold shirt volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, meaning she has volunteered more than 500 hours throughout her time with the organization. HSTB dedicated the largest exam room at the Animal Health Center to Mary with a plaque.