TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Ron Tyson as the sixth Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the New Jersey Devils. Tyson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Bring Smiles to Seniors Inc., Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, ALS and A.F.I.R.E. of Pasco.
Ron Tyson is the founder of Bring Smiles to Seniors, a program that reminds seniors who were previously forgotten that there are people in the community that care. This program works with schools and civic organizations to make and decorate cards that are regularly delivered to senior communities across the United States. Founded in March 2016 this program has delivered over 20,000 cards to 99 senior communities and seven elderly nutrition programs in various states. This program helps to bridge the generation gap while providing valuable lessons for both seniors and students.
Ron's program recently completed its "Smiling 50 Campaign", a campaign to deliver cards to at least one senior in all 50 states. Bring Smiles to Seniors also recently expanded and added on a second branch in Michigan. In his spare time, Tyson writes a daily inspirational column at morningswithron.com where he shares life experiences and though-provoking information.
Ron Tyson becomes the 329th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $16.55 million to more than 400 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik's announced that the community hero program will give away another $10-million over the next five seasons.