TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Monsignor Laurence Higgins as the 42nd Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Detroit Red Wings. Higgins, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Abe Brown Ministries, St. Peter Claver School and Cristo Rey.
Tonight's community hero is an individual that truly lives by his faith. In 1958, Higgins founded St. Lawrence Catholic Church of Tampa and has been a dedicated champion to the poor, minorities and the elderly. In his fight to assist the disadvantaged, he led an effort to build retirement apartments for low income seniors and provided 250 affordable homes to first time buyers.
Due to his additional involvement in mental health awareness and drug addiction treatment, the University of South Florida named its Alcoholism and Research program in his honor. His unconditional love and willingness to serve others has permanently impacted the citizens of Hillsborough County.
Higgins becomes the 221st 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 $11.2 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.