TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Tony Colton as the 45th Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of tonight's game versus the New York Islanders. Colton, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to All Children's Hospital, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation and Sarasota Christian High School.
Sarasota Christian High School 10th grade student Tony Colton knows more about cancer than anyone at his age should. Since 2011, Colton has been diagnosed with cancer four different times and has endured nearly a dozen surgeries. He was first diagnosed with liver cancer at the young age of 11. While having his own courageous journey, Colton has been steadfastly focused on the needs of others going through similar situations.
Colton has captivated his doctors, donors and other patients with his devotion to bringing awareness to issues facing pediatric cancer centers. One of his most recent efforts convinced All Children's Hospital staffers to install a weight-gaining station at the hospital where patients can make their own protein-packed milkshakes. Colton has also raised thousands of dollars to help other patients going through similar treatments to help pay for their expenses so their families can see them.
Colton becomes the 224th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the 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 $11.35 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.