TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Scott Bill as the 25th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Vancouver Canucks. Bill, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the funds to the Brian Bill Foundation.
Scott's son, Brian, was a U.S. Navy SEAL who passed away while carrying out a classified mission in Afghanistan. Immediately after the incident, Scott became an ambassador for the Navy SEALs and traveled around the country speaking as a Gold Star Father and comforting his fellow Gold Star Families. Through this, Scott discovered the increasing number of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. He also became aware of veteran and spousal suicides that were increasing at an alarming rate.
Scott made a decision to start his own foundation to focus on the returning warriors and their families suffering from these issues. The Brian Bill Foundation provides awareness and therapeutic programs for Special Operations Forces active duty, veterans and their families. The foundation has provided retreats for over 50 veterans through its Warrior Healing PTSD program and over 30 Gold Star Families have benefited from one or more of the foundation's retreats and services. Scott has personally volunteered countless hours working with these veterans and families to ensure they have access to, and benefit from, the many services his foundation provides.
Scott Bill becomes the 296th 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 $14.95 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.