Jeff and Penny Vinik to Donate Over $10 Million to Tampa Bay Through

By on February 1, 2011

More Than $2 Million to Be Donated Each Hockey Season for the Next Five
Years
courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA BAY – Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning,
and his wife, Penny, are donating more than $10 million through the
Lightning Foundation to deserving community heroes and charity partners in
Tampa Bay over the next five years, the organization announced today at
Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa. This announcement by Tampa Bay Sports
and Entertainment, parent company of the Lightning, is one of a series
focusing on a complete brand and business transformation under Vinik’s
ownership. Vinik, who purchased the Lightning in March, 2010, pledged at
that time to make the franchise world class and a leader in the community.

“When we purchased the Lightning, Penny and I made a long term commitment
to the Tampa Bay community,” Vinik said. “We intend to make this region
our home, and, our ownership of the Lightning enables us to have the
visibility to become active philanthropic leaders in the community.
Today’s announcement begins this process, and we look forward to working
with the Lightning Foundation in the coming year to touch lives and
inspire others.”

More than $2 million will be granted by the Lightning Foundation each
season, utilizing two different programs established by the organization.
The first program, titled “Lightning Community Partners: Giving Back
Through the Power of Partnerships,” will present four $200,000 grants to
major charities in the Tampa Bay area for each of the next five years
beginning with the 2011-12 hockey season.

The second program, titled “Lightning Community Heroes: Honoring Tampa
Bay’s Community Heroes,” will present 25 $50,000 awards to individuals and
their representative 501 (c) 3 organizations for each of the next five
years beginning with the 2011-12 hockey season.
These heroes will be selected by a subcommittee of the Lightning
Foundation throughout the season after a nomination process allowing
anyone in Tampa Bay the opportunity to recommend a hero in the community
for his or her good works.

The new committee, including season ticket holders, and appointed by the
Board of Directors of the Lightning Foundation, will select the winners.
Each hero will receive a check at a designated Tampa Bay Lightning home
game and be honored with a video presentation in the arena.

The organization is also pledging 4,000 hours of volunteerism from its
full-time staff under the company’s “All In For Our Community” program
each calendar year with a goal touching lives and inspiring others to give
back to the community, even if people can not do so financially.

“We are blessed to be in a leadership position in Tampa Bay and through
the power of giving and volunteerism, we hope to motivate others to join
with us in building up our community,” said Tod Leiweke, Chief Executive
Officer of the Lightning and the St. Pete Times Forum.

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