TAMPA BAY – The Lightning Foundation, charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Lightning, tabbed the second of its three nomination deadlines for its 'Lightning Community Heroes' program as Tuesday, November 1 today. Lightning Community Heroes is an initiative designated to distribute a generous portion of the $10 million dollar pledge by owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, to deserving non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay community over the next five years.
Throughout each of the team's remaining 38 regular season home games in 2011-12, the Lightning will honor a Community Hero and also award $50,000 to an eligible non-profit organization that represents that Hero's cause.
Last week, during the team's season-opening three-game home stand, Community Heroes Ben Carpenter, Dr. Hugo and Alicia Keim and Richard J. Spayde were all honored for their selfless service performed within the Tampa Bay community.
Carpenter, a 16-year-old high school student currently enrolled in King High's International Baccalaureate program, was the very first community hero honored on October 17 against the Florida Panthers for his various service endeavors including participating as an active volunteer with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, as well as Junior Achievement, to which he donated his $50,000 award. On Thursday, October 20, the Lightning recognized Dr. Hugo and Alicia Keim for their work with the ChairScholars Foundation, which aims to transform the lives of financially challenged, young individuals with serious physical disabilities by providing scholarships to beneficiaries so that they may attend college or vocational school. Richard J. Spayde was then named a Lightning Community Hero on Saturday, October 22 for his efforts in founding the Cure on Wheels Foundation, which raises money to help individuals and their families cope with the diagnosis of cancer through an annual bicycle race.
"We are thrilled with the response we've received thus far in the young season that afforded us an incredible opportunity to recognize each of our first three community heroes," Lightning Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Initiatives Elizabeth Frazier said. "Each individual exemplified that everyday heroes come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. We are excited to honor many more moving forward throughout the remainder of our home schedule."
Fans are encouraged to log on to tampabaylightning.com/heroes to receive additional details about the program, as well as to nominate everyday heroes who are making the Tampa Bay area a better place to live, work and play. There will be one final nomination deadline throughout the season on February 1, 2012. Once a nomination for a Lightning Community Hero has been submitted, the nominee will be asked to provide information about the 501(c)(3) organization to which he or she would like to designate the award, should he or she be selected.