TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored the organization’s full-time staff as the Lightning Community Heroes this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. Full-time employees, who received an incredible $1.22 million donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to a host of local charities throughout the Bay area.
“Like any organization that strives to be world class, the foundation of success lies with those who execute the vision on a day-to-day basis – the staff,” Vinik said. “We have been extremely fortunate to have played a lot of hockey the last few years and our team off the ice has sacrificed so much, along with our team on it, and this gift matches that commitment. As we play our final home game of the season tonight, I would like to personally thank both the team and staff for their tireless work and dedication to the Lightning and VSG. Each one of our previous and future successes would not be possible without it.”
Everyone sees the magic the Bolts bring on the ice, which has helped lead the team back to the Stanley Cup Final for the third year in a row. Off the ice and behind the scenes there are countless individuals who work tirelessly so the Lightning can dream big and be an industry leader, individuals who bring passion and enthusiasm to everything the Bolts do as an organization and in the community.
Today’s grant will be used in a variety of different ways. Every single Lightning employee is being given $5,000 to grant to the non-profit of their choice. With a roster of 244 full-time employees, that means just over $1.2 million will be donated to local charities. Vinik’s generous donation, which will make a considerable impact throughout the region, is a direct response to the tremendous and inspirational effort of our players, coaches and front office staff over the past season. This marks the largest hero grant in the history of the Community Hero Program.
Lightning employees became the 503rd 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 tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $27.52 million to more than 600 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.