TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Ronde Barber as the Lightning Community Hero this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. Barber, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Hero program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Copperhead Charities.

Barber is a true champion, both on and off the football field. He spent his entire 16-year NFL career right here in Tampa with the Buccaneers, winning one Super Bowl, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023. Since retiring from football, Barber has continued to call Tampa home and give back to this community. He serves as the chair of the board of Copperhead Charities, the organization responsible for hosting the Valspar Championship. Under the leadership of Barber and the rest of the board, Copperhead Charities raises funds to donate back to the community, including organizations like Habitat for Humanity and First Tee of Tampa Bay. In 2023, Copperhead Charities donated more than one million dollars back to nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region.

The funds from tonight’s grant will be used to support the mission of Copperhead Charities. Specifically, the money will be donated to animal-related causes in the Tampa Bay area, a cause that is important to the Barber family.

Barber became the 590th 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 tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $31.87 million to nearly 750 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the Community Hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.