TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Sandy Freedman as the 48th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's Game 3 Eastern Conference Final matchup versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Freedman, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to The Centre for Women.
Tonight's community hero has shown her unwavering faithfulness towards Tampa Bay citizens for many years. Freedman became the first female mayor of Tampa in 1986 and permanently changed the landscape and togetherness of a growing community. During her tenure as mayor, Freedman was a pioneer for change with the inception of a restoration project to upgrade Bayshore Boulevard in addition to the openings of the City Convention Center and the Florida Aquarium.
In 1990, Tampa was designated as the "All-American City" and Freedman's exemplary passion for public service was well displayed. She was also notable for appointing a substantial number of minorities and women to top management positions within city government, which has given representation to a diverse amount of demographics who reside within the region.
Freedman becomes the 227th 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 $11.5 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.