TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Norm Cookson as the second Lightning Community Hero this evening during the first period of tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. Cookson, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, presented by Jabil, will donate the money to A Kid’s Place of Tampa Bay.
For 10 years, Cookson has strived to make a positive impact on the lives of children as a House Parent at A Kid’s Place. Having spent time in foster care as a child himself, Cookson knows firsthand the importance of having a stable, positive influence to get through those difficult times and look ahead to a bright future. Cookson, along with his wife, Heidi, are now able to provide that positive influence to foster children daily at A Kid’s Place, a non-profit dedicated to providing residential services for foster children.
The grant tonight will fund programming at A Kid’s Place that aims to develop age-appropriate independent living. Cookson has been a compassionate and dedicated role model at A Kid’s Place, being a go-to person for staff and kids alike. His efforts are helping to carve bright futures for many local foster children.
Cookson becomes the 453rd 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 $23.7 million to more than 750 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.