Tampa Bay Lightning donates $50,000 to Patti Stepbach Community Hero


Hernando County’s Patti Stepbach was honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as the 41st Community Hero on April 11th at the Lightning vs. Boston Bruins game. She received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program.

Ms. Stepback is giving $27,000 of it to the Arc Nature Coast who provides resources to developmentally disabled individuals in Hernando County. Ms. Stepbach is donating $8000 to The New Life Center who has been sheltering young, single moms and their babies for a little over two years. To learn more go to www.LifeCenterofHernando.com. The remainder will go to Operation HeartF.E.L.T.

Ms. Stepbach began Operation HeartF.E.L.T. in 2009. She is a former educator and saw first hand how eliminating hunger in children is essential to establishing a strong learning environment. Operation HeartF.E.L.T. is a non-profit organization that helps “Feed Empty Little Tummies” on weekends, holidays, and school breaks providing at least 2 meals for a child during these periods. Food is delivered to schools in backpacks for the children to take home during the time off. In addition to her full time job, Ms. Stepbach spends at least 20 hours per week on Operation HeartF.E.L.T.

Thank you to the Lightning Foundation and Community Heroes Program as well as congratulations to Ms. Stepbach. Hernando County is fortunate to have your generosity and leadership as well as the volunteers that contribute to the many philanthropic programs throughout the county.

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