Michael Sullivan honored as Lightning Community Hero
The $50,000 Lightning Foundation grant will be donated to GiGi's Playhouse
TAMPA BAY -The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Michael Sullivan as the Lightning Community Hero this evening 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 an instrumental part of GiGi's Playhouse's board, starting as a member and now serving as President. When he and his wife found out their first child would be born with Down syndrome, Sullivan made it a priority to educate himself on the diagnosis as well as advocate for those who have it. This has led him to assist in growing programs currently offered at GiGi's Playhouse, as well as create new programs that fit in the Tampa Playhouse. Sullivan has been instrumental in the launching of the Amina Grace Speech & Language Program at GiGi's Playhouse, which launched in fall of 2021.
The grant tonight 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 providing a 10-15-week session offered by a speech language pathologist. With the Community Hero funding, Gigi's Playhouse will be able to enroll 10 children in each of their three sessions in 2022, fostering self-confidence, comprehension, problem-solving, social skills and overall quality of life for those living with Down syndrome.
Sullivan became the 489th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through tonight's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $25.55 million to more than 600 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.
Source: by Press Release @LightningFDN / TampaBayLightning.com
Michael Sullivan honored as Lightning Community Hero - April 19, 2022
JP is a loyal advocate for GiGi’s Playhouse while being recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s most knowledgeable sports journalists. He is the on-air personality for Fan Stream Sports and “The JP Show” and host of the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Night Live at every home game at Amalie Arena. JP is the charismatic emcee of our Playhouse’s largest fundraiser, the annual Louis John “LJ” Piniella Memorial Golf Event to Benefit GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa. He regularly volunteers at Playhouse Programs to provide mentorship and inspiration to our participants and families.
Orlando is the lead Program Director and on-air personality of WiLD 94.1. Orlando gives a lot more than his voice and passion for music to the Tampa Bay community. He is an honorary Hillsborough County Deputy and sponsors his own charitable work to help local children. Orlando is also a huge promoter for GiGi’s Playhouse, taking center stage to entertain guests and cheer on our models with Down syndrome at our Annual Fashion Show celebration. Orlando and his team recently challenged the Tampa Bay community to repel down a 12 story high-rise to support GiGi’s Playhouse “Over the Edge” Fundraiser.
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Sam Piazza, an adult participant at the Playhouse and a member of the Advocacy and Inspiration Team, is the inspiration for this amazing documentary “Because of Sam”. Watch to see how one man with Down syndrome has changed the lives of so many around him. We are grateful to Producer Renee Warmack for partnering with GiGi’s Playhouse to promote acceptance for All and to educate what GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa accomplishes in our community.
Congratulations to Nick Altieri, Community Hero!
NICHOLAS ALTIERI HONORED AS LIGHTNING COMMUNITY HERO
DONATION OF $50,000 TO GIGI’S PLAYHOUSE TAMPA
TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Nicholas Altieri as the 17th Lightning Community Hero at the December 21st, 2017 Tampa Bay Lightning Game against the Ottawa, Senators. Altieri, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to GiGi’s Playhouse, Tampa. Nick Altieri was nominated by Richard Escobar of Escobar and Associates, Attorneys at Law.
Nick was born with Down syndrome, but he’s never allowed this to limit him. He was the gold medalist in the Special Olympics Florida State Aquatics, competes in track and field and is currently employed at the Hillsborough County Public Defenders Office in an administrative capacity. He strives for other individuals to not feel limited by their disability, and does so by actively volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse. This is a national network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers with the mission to change the way the world views Down syndrome though community campaigns and educational programs. From volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse, he spearheaded the formation of the Advocacy and Inspiration Team as part of the Outreach Committee and recruits teens and adults with Down syndrome to join to become spokes-members, mentors and representatives for the organization. .
GiGi’s Playhouse will open a location in Tampa that will serve the estimated 3,400 individuals with Down syndrome living in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. This initiative will offer one-on-one math and literacy tutoring with curriculum and materials customized to the unique learning style of individuals with Down syndrome. Therapeutic and fitness based programs will work to build self-esteem, strengthen low muscle tone and advance speech and motor skills. In addition, career and life-skills programs for adults will empower individuals to pursue a more independent lifestyle. Nick has already started to formulate programs for the Playhouse that he will mentor and participate in, such as culinary classes, where he intends to advance his own needs but also teach others.
Nicholas Altieri becomes the 288th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. In total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $14.5 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa thanks Nick Altieri, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Mr. and Mrs. Vinik for their amazing generosity and for believing in GiGi’s Playhouse Tampa.