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Tampa Bay Lightning

Vicki Sokolik honored as Lightning Community Hero

$50,000 to be donated to Starting Right, Now

Saturday, 10.29.2011 / 7:53 PM / Community
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Vicki Sokolik honored as Lightning Community Hero

TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning recognized Vicki Sokolik as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Sokolik, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will contribute the money to her charity of choice, Starting Right, Now.

As founder and Executive Director of Starting Right, Now, Sokolik has helped stop the cycle of homelessness by reestablishing a stable home environment and improving parental employment for individuals within the community. In addition, the initiative seeks to provide opportunities for the younger generation through continued education and fostering active mentor relationships. The strength of the program lies in that its efforts do not provide just a temporary fix, but instead a permanent solution in removing individuals from incredibly meager standings and placing them in a world with endless possibilities and real potential.

In 2001, after her daughter underwent brain surgery to treat epilepsy, Sokolik discovered the significant impact close support systems have in overcoming hardships. The experience, while difficult, revealed the value of what caring can do for others. Since then, Sokolik has been instrumental in establishing philanthropic causes throughout the Bay Area, as well as providing aid for those in need. With the encouragement of former City of Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, Sokolik established Starting Right, Now in 2008 as an active way to reach out to the less fortunate. To date, the program has touched the lives of hundreds of beneficiaries who now have hope for a better tomorrow.