MacDill youth recognized as Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero of Tomorrow recipient

  • Published
  • 6th Aerial Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The Tampa Bay Lightning National Hockey League organization recently honored a MacDill Air Force Base youth as their 13th Lightning Community Hero for the 2019-2020 season.

Greg Davis, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half of the funds to the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay, while the other half will go toward a scholarship for his college education.

“This is an amazing opportunity to be able to give back to my community and to be able to help a cause that I’m really passionate about,” said Davis.

The Lightning Community Heroes Program is the signature philanthropic initiative of the Lightning Foundation and has been lauded for its innovative contributions through the sports community.

In 2011, Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, along with his wife, Penny, launched the Lightning Community Hero program, which is a collaboration of the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, to distribute $10 million dollars to deserving Heroes and non-profits throughout the Tampa Bay community.  

Davis is a freshman at the University of Tampa and is passionate about positively impacting the youth in the Tampa Bay community. With his father serving in the U.S. Army, Davis grew up actively involved in MacDill AFB Youth Programs and learned first-hand how youth programs influence the military community.

Davis has donated his time volunteering as a teen leader for MacDill AFB Youth Programs. In addition, Davis actively works to combat cyberbullying among children and teens. He implemented and led an anti-cyberbullying campaign that generated awareness and promoted acceptance of race and gender. The campaign materials from Davis' program were distributed to Florida military installations state-wide.

Davis will partner with Boys & Girls Club of Tampa Bay to create an innovative anti-cyberbullying campaign aimed at developing mutual respect and fostering acceptance of others. The program will include interactive learning environments and brainstorming sessions led by peers. Davis' new initiative will produce educational videos that focus on the prevention of cyberbullying and will provide support to those affected by bullying.

“With this new funding thanks to the Lightning scholarship, we’re actually going to be able to expand the program through the Boys & Girls Club’s help,” added Davis. “We’re also going to select a few youth from each individual Boys & Girls Clubs nationally and name them as respect diplomats to serve as a liaison for their community on spreading bullying awareness.”

Since 2016, the Lightning Community Heroes of Tomorrow program has recognized inspiring public-spirited young people from the Tampa Bay community. The program’s goal is to identify young leaders and “change-makers” in local high schools, colleges and universities who are driving social change, making a positive impact in their community and who have come up with an idea or initiative that can benefit the greater Tampa Bay community.