TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Norma and Joseph Robinson as the 26th Lightning Community Heroes of the season during the first period of tonight’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Robinsons, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Sulphur Springs Museum, Sulphur Springs Alliance, PCAT and YMCA Sulphur Springs After School Program.
Sulphur Springs has been characterized as one of the most poverty stricken areas in Tampa Bay. However, this did not deter the Robinson’s from settling in the area after moving from New York in 1997 post-retirement. They have both viewed their residence in Sulphur Springs as an opportunity to be stewards in creating a better environment for those living in their community.
For the past eighteen years, the Robinson’s have been diligent in developing community initiatives and assuming volunteer leadership positions to revive Sulphur Springs. They started the Weed & Seed program in Sulphur Springs, a federal program aimed at revitalizing poverty stricken communities and controlling crime, drug abuse and gang activities in these targeted areas. The Robinson’s also created the Sulphur Springs Neighborhood Alliance comprised of residents, churches, and other organizations.
To recognize Sulphur Springs’ unique past as a vacation destination and its African American roots, the Robinson’s developed the Sulphur Springs Museum & Heritage Center. Their vision is to use this museum as an entrepreneurial learning experience for the younger generation to operate the Museum’s gift shop, as well as social media and marketing, while under the guidance of mentors.
The Robinson’s have made such a noticeable impact on the Sulphur Springs community that a public library was named in their honor, the Norma & Joseph Robinson Partnership Library.