TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Rob Smith as the 28th Lightning Community Hero of the year during the first period of tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens. Smith, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America and Disability Achievement Center.
Smith, a United States Army Veteran, was critically injured while serving his country and is now a quadriplegic. He went through an experience that every parent fears, when his only son suffered a similar spinal cord injury and eventually died from a car accident. Since that moment, Smith has devoted and dedicated his life to volunteering, contributing thousands of hours to help others who suffer with severe disabilities.
Now an accomplished businessman, Smith and his wife started Disabled Dealer, a magazine that provides pertinent and encouraging information for the disabled. The magazine has had plenty success and the reach of the publication has grown exponentially since its inception. He is also instrumental in assisting Operation Helping Hand, Paralyzed Veterans of America and many other programs, and he is determined to help re-build lives.