TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Olga Joanow as the 18th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Joanow, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Champions for Children.
In 2001, Joanow fell victim to a tragic domestic dispute. She was shot twice and left for dead on the side of the road. Fortunately, Joanow survived. After persevering through four surgeries, a year of outpatient rehab, and permanent leg damage, Joanow shares her story to inspire others to take action against abuse and leads advocacy against a particular form of violence, child abuse. She serves as a volunteer Board Member and is the incoming Chairwoman for Champions for Children (formerly the Child Abuse Council), a non-profit organization leading child abuse prevention.
In addition to serving on the Board of Champions for Children, Joanow volunteered on the Hillsborough County Civil Service Board from 1997 to 2004. Being a lawyer by trade, during the 1990's, she volunteered on Teen Court, a juvenile diversionary program, and volunteered as a coach for the Bloomingdale High School Mock Trial Team.