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Mark Barry: Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero

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For several years now, the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program celebrate deserving community heroes and distribute funding to nonprofits throughout the Tampa Bay community.

The program is the signature philanthropic initiative of the Lightning Foundation and has been lauded for its innovative contributions throughout the sports community. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, launched the program in 2011 as a collaboration with the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation.

At a recent game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars, Mark Barry, CEO of The Arc Nature Coast, was honored as the newest Lightning Community Hero. He was presented with a $50,000 donation on behalf of The Arc Nature Coast, a 501-c-3, non-profit, charitable organization that serves individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Barry has been The Arc Nature Coast’s CEO for 31 years and has led The Arc Nature Coast from a grassroots organization to serving over 300 individuals and their families in three counties. He was also instrumental in raising funding for the construction five new, fully accessible residential homes, providing permanent housing for over 50 individuals with developmental disabilities.

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Nancy Stubbs, The Arc Nature Coast Development Director, said, “The funds from the Tampa Bay Lightning grant will be used to continue to further expand the mission of The Arc Nature Coast. Specifically, the funds will be used to assist in the completion of an ongoing expansion development at our Neff Lake location. That project should be completed this year,” she added. Barry became the 560th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program. Through tonight’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $30.37 million to nearly 750 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.

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