TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Richard Gonzmart as the 44th Lightning Community Hero of the season during the first period of Game 5 against the Detroit Red Wings. Gonzmart, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Moffitt Cancer Center, Jesuit High School, the Tampa Metro YMCA and Cristo Rey Tampa High School.
"[Success] is not about our wealth, it's not about our fame, it's not about the power that we have," Gonzmart has said. "It's about what we do with the gift that God gives…When times are hard, we have to give and when times are better, we have to give more."
This is the heart of Gonzmart, the fourth generation owner of Tampa Bay's renowned Columbia Restaurant and community advocate. He has served on many non-profit boards and championed numerous causes, specifically those related to cancer research, children, the arts, police and animals. In 2001, Gonzmart established the Columbia Restaurant Endowment for research at Moffitt Cancer & Research Center. He is also the founder of "Richard's Run for Life" a charity dedicated to raising funds for cancer and to raise awareness for adolescent and young adult osteosarcoma cancer.
In conjunction to being named tonight's Lightning Community Hero, Gonzmart has previously been the recipient of multiple awards for his contribution to the community including the Rotary Club Service Above Others Award (2008), the Tampa Police Citizen of the Year by the Tampa Police Department (2012), and the Visionary Award on behalf of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (2015).