TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Mary Stephens as the ninth Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the New York Rangers. Stephens, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to SPCA.
Stephens is a founding member of SPCA Florida, an organization that promotes the adoption of healthy animals, prevents dog and cat overpopulation and provides veterinary medical services for animals in the community. For twelve years, she fostered animals and assisted with Saturday adoptions at Publix. She also started a campaign to educate the public about the benefits of high volume spaying and neutering that raised $670,000 to build Polk County's only low cost public spay/neuter clinic.
Since SPCA was founded in 1979, they have adopted more than 73,000 pets and their clinic has sprayed and neutered more than 117,000 dogs and cats. Tonight's Lightning Community Hero has expressed the core values of her organization through the efforts she has provided to animals throughout Polk County. Her vision is a Medical Center where spaying and neutering is affordable for all; an Adoption Center where all unwanted animals are provided exceptional care and a community without unwanted, abused or neglected animals.