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TAMPA, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Oscar and Miriam Horton as the Lightning Community Heroes this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Hortons, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to Academy Prep of Tampa.

The Hortons embody the core values that leaders possess – empathy, accountability, diligence, and respect. With the creation of their philanthropic organization, The Horton Family Foundation, they are establishing a lasting legacy in our community, advocating for those in need by addressing issues impacting families, education, and healthcare. For over a decade, the Hortons have empowered the students of Academy Prep, reinforcing their family’s commitment to children and education. Through their support of Academy Prep, the Hortons are paving a pathway to success and helping grow it to be as big as their students’ dreams. In addition to the immense impact the Hortons have had on the lives of students in Tampa Bay, Miriam has impacted the lives of women and children in need through her volunteerism at The Spring of Tampa Bay, which provides safe spaces and empowering services to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

The funds from tonight’s grant will be used to expand and support one of the core components of the Academy Prop model, Graduate Support Services (GSS). This program has become integral to student success, as it provides a smooth and successful transition into high school and post-secondary education. Beginning in the seventh grade, the program helps students navigate high school and college admissions and financial aid processes and engages students in college focused activities while offering a variety of academic prep services. During the 2023-24 school year, GSS is serving 55 seventh and eighth graders, as well as 418 Academy Prep graduates in high school and college.

The Hortons became the 577th Lightning Community Heroes 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 $31.22 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.