TAMPA, FL (via Tampa Bay Lightning Communications) – The Lightning Foundation, charitable arm of the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced today that it will continue its ‘Lightning Community Heroes’ program, an initiative designed to distribute more than $2 million of the $10 million pledge by owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, to deserving non-profit organizations throughout the Tampa Bay community over the next two years. Today is the beginning of three nomination periods during which local individuals can submit a nomination for a Community Hero to be honored with the award during the upcoming season. The first nomination deadline is on September 2 at 5:00pm and two additional deadline dates will be forthcoming.
Throughout the Lightning’s 41 regular season home schedule in 2014-15 the club will honor a Community Hero and also award $50,000 to eligible non-profit organizations that are representative to a Hero’s cause. Unchanged from the past three seasons, a total of $2,050,000 will be handed out to worthy community causes during the 2014-15 season.
Fans are encouraged to log on to http://tampabaylightning.com/heroes to receive additional details and updates to the program, as well as to nominate deserving individuals who are making the Tampa Bay area a better place to live, work and play. For the first time, the Lightning are accepting first-person narrative submissions for Heroes, as well as the traditional third party nominations. Once a nomination for a Lightning Community Hero has been submitted, the nominee will be asked to provide information about the 501 (c) (3) organizations to which he or she would like to designate the award, should he or she be selected.
Over the past three seasons, the Lightning Foundation has celebrated 125 heroes, awarding $6,250,000 to more than 200 local non-profit charities. Each Hero has received a standing ovation at each Lightning home game and had their amazing story featured on LightningVision at the game in which they are honored. Last season the Lightning added two additional heroes for both playoff games against the Montreal Canadiens.