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Tampa Bay Lightning honors local nonprofits supporting social justice

Jaymi Butler

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Tampa Bay Lightning
Three nonprofits in Pinellas County will receive funding through the Tampa Bay Lightning's Community Heroes program.

Tampa Bay Lightning fans are still celebrating the team’s five-overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but some of the biggest winners weren’t on the ice Tuesday night.

The Lightning’s Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will be donating $200,000 to local charities for each of the playoff rounds in which the team competes. In the first round, the program is honoring six local nonprofits working to promote and enhance social justice initiatives around Tampa Bay, half of which are located in Pinellas County.

The nonprofits receiving awards are:

  • The Florida Holocaust Museum. The museum will be splitting its donation between its Law Enforcement & Society program that assists in police training and its youth education program ‘Speak Up, Speak Now’ that encourages middle schoolers to engage in discussions and activities that examine concepts such as prejudice, stereotypes and racial identity. 
  • Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Fund. The donation will support the nonprofit’s CATCH Entrepreneurial Training Program, a 15-week training for minority-owned businesses. 
  • The Pinellas County Urban League. Donated funds will go toward the implementation of virtual workshops for young professionals on voter education, race relations and crime prevention. 
  • Abe Brown Ministries. The nonprofit will use its donation for an event called ‘Bridging the Gap,’ where people who were formerly incarcerated will meet with law enforcement officials to share information, ideas and experiences.
  • Men of Vision. This mentorship organization will use funding to purchase laptops for students in need.
  • Safe & Sound Hillsborough. Donated funds will be directed to a variety of initiatives including a youth mentoring and employment project in East Tampa, and a credit recovery program for minority high school males.

Collectively, these nonprofits have become the 407th recipient of the Community Hero program, which was introduced by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny. To date, the Lightning Foundation has donated $20.65 million to more than 750 nonprofits in the Tampa Bay area.

The Bolts take to the ice again Thursday at 3 p.m. for the second game of the best-of-seven series. 

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