TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Mike Alstott as the 37th Lightning Community Hero this season today at the Mike Alstott Foundation in St. Petersburg. Alstott, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Mike Alstott Foundation. Despite the NHL pause, the Lightning will continue to honor the final Community Heroes of the season, including today's at the Mike Alstott Foundation. Each week the Lightning will travel to the hero's charity of choice to honor the great work done by the chosen Heroes. The Community Hero award is proudly celebrated by Jabil, who is the sponsor of the Lightning Community Hero Program.
Since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996, Alstott has been committed to making the Tampa Bay community a better place to live. As coach Tony Dungy as his mentor, Alstott has received guidance from his former coach on getting involved in the community, culminating in starting his own charity that gives children opportunities that they normally wouldn't have. The Mike Alstott Foundation sets up events such as the Valentine's Day "stuff-n-fluff" party at the All Children's Hospital, Mother's Day gift giving at the All Children's Hospital, back to school shopping for foster children and many other events around the Tampa Bay community.
Mike's legacy in the Tampa Bay area goes beyond the six Pro Bowl's and being named a Ring of Honor member by the Buccaneers. His 23 years in the community have produced countless number of service hours and smiles put on people's faces. Now, as a retired player, his community footprint continues to grow due to his Foundation that continues to increase the number of programs and and charities he helps out. He also continues to give back by teaching local youth valuable life lessons through the sport of football as Head Coach at Northside Christian School in St. Petersburg.
Alstott becomes the 402nd Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through today's presentation, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $20.25 million to more than 750 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.