TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored the Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation as the fifth Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Buffalo Sabres at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. This marks the first time the Lightning have honored a community hero at a game outside of AMALIE Arena. The $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program will be donated directly to the Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation.
One of the primary missions of the Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation is to make ice hockey available to children across every facet of society, specifically from families overcoming cultural and economic barriers. The Federation partners with local schools and community groups to target children from these families, some of whom have recently immigrated to Sweden, to introduce them to the game of hockey. The Stockholm Ice Federation works closely with civic leaders to develop facilities and ice rinks to provide local youth the opportunity to play the game of hockey. A major focus of this program, is to provide a blueprint for other cities across Sweden to follow, with the goal of impacting thousands of underprivileged youth across Sweden one day.
On Monday, Lightning forwards Brayden Point and Mathieu Joseph joined local children part of this program on the ice at Ericsson Globe. For the majority of these children, it was their first-time skating on ice. The Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation focuses on growing the game locally, while also creating a more active everyday lifestyle for Sweden's youth. Local children, along with Federation Project Leader, Simon Stigenberg, accepted the $50,000 check from Lightning owner Jeff Vinik during the first period. The Lightning also presented the Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation with a signed Victor Hedman jersey.
The Stockholm Ice Hockey Federation becomes the 333rd 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 $18.65 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.