TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Paul Whiting Sr. as the 20th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the New York Rangers. Whiting Sr., who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Academy Prep of Tampa, Lightning Clozier Fund/Tampa Prep, Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Frameworks and WEDU.
Alex Killorn (right) joined Lightning owner Jeff Vinik (left) present Paul Whiting Sr. with a check for $50,000.
Whiting Sr. is a humble man who would never admit to anyone all of the incredible work he has done to better the Tampa Bay community. He launched the Academy Prep Center of Tampa, a private middle school for students that qualify for need based scholarships. The Academy Prep's purpose is to provide students from low-income homes a better education. His commitment has laid the foundation for hundreds of young adults to get a quality education, with an emphasis on preparation for college.
A true believer in the strength of a good education, Whiting Sr. has committed himself to being a guiding force in the academic lives of hundreds of students, including strangers and extended family members alike. As an active member in the Tampa Bay community, he is adept to recognizing and forging partnerships between charitable organizations. Whiting Sr. also was one of the founding board members of the Florida Aquarium.