Michael Sullivan Honored as a Lightning Community Hero

TAMPA BAY — The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Michael Sullivan as a Lightning community hero tonight during the first period of tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. Sullivan, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes Program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to GiGi’s Playhouse.

Sullivan has been instrumental on GiGi’s Playhouse Board of Directors, starting as a member and now as Chairman. When he and his wife discovered their first child would be born with Down syndrome, Sullivan made it a priority to learn about the diagnosis and advocate for those who have it. This has led him to help grow the programs currently offered at GiGi’s Playhouse, as well as creating new programs that fit into the Tampa Playhouse. Sullivan was instrumental in launching the Amina Grace Speech & Language program at GiGi’s Playhouse, which launched in fall 2021.

Tonight’s grant will be used to support GiGi’s Playhouse’s Amina Grace Speech & Language program. This program benefits people of all ages with Down syndrome by offering a 10-15 week session delivered by a speech-language pathologist. With funding from Community Hero, Gigi’s Playhouse will be able to enroll 10 children in each of its three sessions in 2022, fostering self-confidence, understanding, problem solving, social skills and overall quality of life for people with the syndrome. of Down.

Sullivan became the 489th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik launched the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a five-season, $10 million commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has awarded $25.55 million to more than 600 unique nonprofit organizations in the Greater Tampa Bay Area. In the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the Community Hero Program would give away an additional $10 million over the next five seasons.

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