The Tampa Bay Lightning is committed to making a difference in Tampa Bay in many ways. In addition to the C.H.A.R.G.E. employee volunteer program and donations of in-kind merchandise and experiences, members of the Tampa Bay Lightning lead initiatives in the community and game nights offer a platform to create awareness for multiple causes in the Tampa Bay area.
Below are programs that the Lightning Foundation currently runs in the Tampa Bay area:
Score with Reading
Hockey By The Numbers
Captain Vincent Lecavalier’s personal foundation, the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation, directs all its resources to the Vincent Lecavalier Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Center at All Children’s Hospital. In 2007, Vinny committed $3 million for the construction of the Center and continues working to build hope for children and families battling pediatric cancer and blood disorders, funding medical research, increasing programming and improving pediatric patient care.
Alternate Captain Martin St. Louis serves on the Lightning Community Heroes Community Advisory Committee, reviewing hundreds of nominations and assisting in the selecting the 41 heroes celebrated each home game. Additionally, Martin supports the Jason Ackerman Foundation, participating in special events in fundraisers focused on improving the lives of children who have faced and survived tragic circumstances through educational support and entertaining experiences.
Steven Stamkos dedicates his time to help children in need, serving as the Kids Are Heroes Spokeschampion for St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital for the past 3 years. This past season he also chaired the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay’s Light A Light and Share A Night campaign and became involved with the Tampa Police Athletic League.
Player Charity Ticket Program
Tampa Bay Fights Cancer (TBFC)
For the past 11 seasons, in conjunction with local attorney Steve Yerrid and the Yerrid Foundation, the Lightning hosts Tampa Bay Fights Cancer Night. On this special evening, 12 cancer related organizations invite 4,000 patients, family members, medical staff and care givers to celebrate hope. Following the game, the entire Tampa Bay Lightning teams visits with approximately 150 TBFC participants.
Children’s Cancer Center Holiday Party
Each holiday season, Lightning players and their families adopt a family from the Children’s Cancer Center coming together for an afternoon of fellowship and entertainment. The holiday party is a treasured afternoon for all involved where players and their families kindly purchase gifts for their “adopted” family.
Cut for a Cure
The Pediatric Cancer Foundation and Vincent Lecavalier Foundation have teamed up on this event for the past 3 years. Members of the Tampa Bay Lightning along with local celebrities embark on a fundraising campaign that culminates with the shaving of participants heads to bring awareness to childhood cancer research.
Throughout the season, players make visits to Tampa General Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Florida Hospital and All Children’s Hospital, hoping to spread a little cheer and brighten the days of those receiving treatment.
Supporting America’s Heroes is an important mission for members of the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the close proximity of MacDill Air Force Base and James Haley Veterans’ Hospital, outreach to the men and women of the United States military branches residing there happens throughout the season. In addition, Ryan Malone focuses his personal efforts to benefit Operation Homefront and Martin St. Louis works on behalf of Embracing Florida’s Wounded Heroes.
League Wide Initiatives
The Tampa Bay Lightning is proud to support causes that reach across the National Hockey League. Each October, Hockey Fights Cancer is celebrated. November becomes Movember where gentleman grow their best mustache for prostate cancer awareness. The spirit of the playoffs carried through off the ice raising charitable dollars through Beard-a-thon.
Giving back is important not only to Lightning players but to their families as well. Over the course of the year, player’s wives and girlfriends provide game night fundraising help, volunteer at numerous local organizations and support charitable special events.
Boldest of the Bay & Military Salute
Each home game, a local law enforcement or first responder is honored through Bright House Network’s Boldest of the Bay program. A decorated soldier is also recognized in-game and treated to a special evening courtesy of Grow Financial.
Groups Sales Nights
Non-profit organizations have the opportunity to hold fundraising nights in conjunction with the Lightning Group Sales Department. During the 2011-2012 season, nearly 40 organizations executed this program, earning important funds to support their mission.
Each holiday season, the Lightning is proud to partner with Metropolitan Ministries, Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army to spread joy and help those in need. Food drives, toy collections and donation campaigns are always a highlight amongst fans at this special time of year.
On select nights throughout the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning partners with large charities celebrating their work and brining awareness to their cause. Groups such as the United Way, American Red Cross and ALS Association provide much needed services in the Tampa Bay community and have been recognized through this program.