The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Richard Cadogan as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Cadogan, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will contribute the money to his charity of choice, Guardian Ad Litem.
Serving as the only voice for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected throughout the past decade, Cadogan has selflessly given his time as a Guardian Ad Litem full-time volunteer for the past 11 years. Of over 60 cases handled while with the organization, Cadogan has been responsible for reuniting 19 children with their biological parents and has also assisted in finding loving, adoptive parents for 26 others. Without Cadogan’s help, these children would have had no one to advocate in their best interests, and as a result, be confined to foster care.
Upon being trained and certified as a Guardian Ad Litem, Cadogan became more keenly aware of the plight of child abuse and has strongly advocated on their behalf ever since. Although he often chooses to handle even the most dire cases of abuse, Cadogan always works diligently to arrive at a favorable outcome for each individual. He believes that children need positive adults in their everyday lives who can teach self-esteem, morals and values.
Cadogan, a retired, disabled United States Army veteran who served his country with distinction for 23 years, is no stranger to helping others within the community. He previously volunteered with the Black on Black Crime Prevention Program as a mentor to children who had been referred by the Court or the Juvenile Justice System. Believing that the mentoring of children alone was not enough, he volunteered as an Assistant Facilitator at the Urban League to teach parenting classes to adults who had their children removed by the State. Each day, Cadogan chooses not to allow his handicap to prevent him from forming a special bond with each child he has represented.