TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Ted Wagner as the fourth Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of tonight's game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Wagner, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to Music Sweet Music Inc. and Children's Cancer Center.
Ted is the Founder and President of Music Sweet Music Inc. (MSM Inc.), a nonprofit that provides instruments and music therapy to treat children and adults with illnesses and disorders. In this program, music therapy is used in a therapeutic role to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs in individuals. It supports overall physical rehabilitation by facilitating movement, increasing motivation to become engaged in treatment, providing emotional support and providing an outlet for expression of feelings. Founded in 2001, MSM Inc. has over 1,500 interventions annually with hospitalized kids, outpatient children and adults.
Wagner, a musician by profession, first learned and experienced the power that music can have as a form of medicine through volunteering with Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital's music therapy program. He then began raising awareness about the need of music therapy in the Tampa Bay community and realized the lack of music therapy programs outside of hospitals. In founding MSM Inc., Ted kept this in mind and made sure that there were no time limits for his clients so they could continue to benefit from Music Therapy even after they left the hospital.
Ted Wagner becomes the 327th 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 $16.45 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.