The way the program works is simple. During each Lightning home game next season, the Lightning will honor an upstanding member of the community as the Lightning Community Hero for their efforts in making Tampa Bay a better place to live.
The Lightning Foundation will then donate $50,000 to the eligible non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice in their name.
For those of you at home keeping score, there are 41 Tampa Bay Lightning home games per season. At $50,000 per game, that is a total of $2,050,000 that will be put back into the community this year by the Lightning organization.
This will be the third season that the Lightning have participated in this program. The initiative was started by Tampa Bay Lightning Owner Jeff Vinik and his wife Penny in during the 2011-12 season.
The Lightning Foundation has already honored 81 Lightning Community Heroes and have donated $4,100,000 to over 120 local non-profit charities since the program’s inception.
I think it is quite possible that the Tampa Bay Lightning may have the best owner in all of sports. Since purchasing the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jeff Vinik has put so much back into the Tampa Bay community.
He gave us a state of the art, world class remodel of the Tampa Bay Times Forum, home of the Lightning. Vinik has also given back to the community through his various charitable contributions, one of which is the Lightning Community Heroes Program.
To get more information on the program, or to nominate someone for the award, the Lightning are encouraging fans to visit www.tampabaylightning.com/heroes.
You have until August 14th to submit your nominations for the award. There will be to other nomination periods with deadlines being announced at a later date.
Once a nomination has been submitted, the nominee will be asked to submit information regarding the 501 (c) (3) organizations that they would like to award the donation should he/she be selected to receive it.
Ever since coming here, he has made it is mission to show that he is All In for the Tampa Bay community, and doesn’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.
With an organization like this, it is no surprise that the Bolts Nation comes out every game to Be The Thunder for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
What do you think of the contributions that the Vinik family has made to the Tampa Bay community? Leave a comment in the section below and let us know what you think.