Lightning Use President's Trophy Money To Give Back To Community
The Lightning yesterday held their Strikes of Kindness Day, in which members of the organization "made 40 stops around the area, going as far as Orlando," and "volunteered, interacted with fans and made donations," according to Diana Nearhos of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. One highlight of the effort saw players working the counter and drive-through at a Dunkin' location for an hour and spending $750 to "cover customers' orders." The team "gave away $100,000 in charitable donations and also bought more than $2,000 worth of food for fans to deliver to teachers and first responders around the area." The NHL had given the Lightning $100,000 as winners of the Presidents' Trophy, but Owner Jeff Vinik "didn't know the Trophy came with money." When he found out, Vinik and CEO Steve Griggs "decided to share it with the community." But instead of writing a check, they "added volunteer work, fan giveaways and player appearances." The Strikes of Kindness initiative "involved the entire organization." All Lightning players and coaches "made appearances," while former players and announcers also "were in on the effort" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/11). In Tampa, Ashley Gurbal Kritzer noted Vinik was "volunteering at Feeding Tampa Bay" from 11:00am-1:00pm yesterday. Strikes of Kindness is also "guerrilla marketing and another way to partner with Lightning sponsors" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 9/10).
HANGING THEM UP: The TIMES' Nearhos reported Lightning TV play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham will "retire after this season." Peckham, who will turn 65 in March, will call his 24th season with the team, after he "spent time with the Hartford Whalers and AHL's Rochester Americans." Peckham said, "I'm not going to do this forever. You start thinking, 'When is a good time to get off the train and start doing other things?'" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 9/10).