Honoring Heroes and a Commitment to Community

A Lightning Community Hero could be your neighbor, your colleague, or your friend.  A Lightning Community Hero demonstrates how a person with passion and determination can use his or her life to make a difference in the greater Tampa Bay community.

About the Lightning Community Hero Program

In 2011, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, along with his wife, Penny, launched the Lightning Community Hero program, which is a collaboration of the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, to distribute $10 million dollars to deserving Heroes and non-profits throughout the Tampa Bay community over a five year period. At each of the Lightning’s 41 regular season and playoff home games for the past four seasons, the Lightning Community Hero program has been honored to celebrate a local Hero and donate $50,000 to a non-profit charity of his or her choice.  In the first five years of the program, we have shared the stories of 220 deserving Heroes at all of our home games and the Lightning Community Hero program, supported by the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, has distributed funding to over 400 local charities, totaling $11,100,000 since the program’s inception.

In April of 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Vinik announced another five year, $10 million pledge through the Vinik Family Foundation to assure the continuation of the Lightning Community Hero program for the next five seasons.  Celebrating a Community Hero has become a beloved signature moment at our home games, and we are excited to continue this tradition.

In addition to celebrating Community Heroes who have primarily been selected for their past service to the community, we are delighted to add a new category of awardee: Community Heroes of Tomorrow, which will celebrate inspiring public-spirited young people from the Tampa Bay community who have a history of past community service and volunteerism, but also have plans and ambitions to drive social change and make a positive future impact in the Tampa Bay community.

Please click below to learn more about each of the two Hero nominations:

Community Hero Resources

NOMINATE A COMMUNITY HERO

The Lighting Community Hero program is open for nominations!  The first deadline is on Friday, September 9th at 5 pm. The final two nomination deadlines are November 14 and January 18.

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NOMINATE A COMMUNITY HERO OF TOMORROW

Please click the link below to learn more about the Community Heroes of Tomorrow. Please check back early this summer when nominations are open.

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COMMUNITY HERO ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

See the Community Hero Eligibility Information for the 2016-17 Lightning season for Community Heroes

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COMMUNITY HERO OF TOMORROW ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

See the Community Hero Eligibility Information for the 2016-17 Lightning season for Community Heroes of Tomorrow.

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VIEW HERO CLASS OF 2015-16

The 2015-16 hero class is now underway; Click here to see where donations are distributed throughout the community over the course of this season.

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VIEW HERO CLASS OF 2014-15

The 2014-15 hero class is now underway; Click here to see where donations are distributed throughout the community over the course of this season.

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VIEW HERO CLASS OF 2013-14

The 2013-14 hero class is now complete; Click here to see where donations were distributed throughout the community over the course of this season.

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VIEW HERO CLASS OF 2012-13

The 2012-13 hero class distributed $2,050,000 throughout the community over the course of the season.

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VIEW HERO CLASS OF 2011-12

Last season, the Lightning honored a Community Hero at each of the Lightning’s 41 regular season games, and awarded a $50,000 check to a non-profit charity of his or her choice. Take a look at these heroes' stories.

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