Participants at the tournament got the chance to golf with the Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and several other Lightning players, along with the entire Lightning coaching staff and all-time greats Dave Andreychuk and Brian Bradley. Original Lightning founder and general manager Phil Esposito was also in attendance at the golf tournament.
The first year tournament raised $10,000 to benefit both the Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund and Project Light. The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund provides opportunities for socio-economically diverse students to experience an independent, college preparatory education at The Out-of-Door Academy's Upper School in Lakewood Ranch. The students will have the chance to learn in an environment which allows students to strive to achieve their highest academic goals and build character through a balanced program of academics, the arts and athletics. Project Light is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting illiteracy by employing a unique combination of software-based instruction, one-to-one tutoring, and community and faith-based Learning Centers.
LWR Communities became the exclusive residential real estate development partner of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season. The multi-year agreement enables the Lightning to grow its regional footprint into one of America’s fastest growing communities while Lakewood Ranch utilizes the team’s reach into key northern markets to grow its residential and commercial real estate businesses.
“This tournament highlights another vital dimension of the partnership between the Lightning and Lakewood Ranch, which involves a commitment to giving back and contributes to the award-winning, master-planned community’s recognition as being the premier destination in the United States to live, work and play,” said Todd Pokrywa, vice president of planning for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc., the developer of Lakewood Ranch.
“It’s great to host our inaugural alumni golf tournament at such a world-class facility at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club,” said chief executive officer Tod Leiweke. “Lakewood Ranch is a tremendous partner and we appreciate their community-first approach to the Tampa Bay community and it’s great to work with them to benefit these great causes.”
About Lakewood Ranch
Lakewood Ranch is the 17,500-acre, award-winning, master-planned community in Sarasota and Manatee counties on the West Coast of Florida. Just minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches and cultural assets in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch is already home to more than 18,000 residents and features A-rated schools, a hospital, the Sarasota Polo Club, The Premier Sports Campus, the Ancient Oak Gun Club, its own Main Street with theaters, shopping and dining, and four million square feet of commercial property.
About the Tampa Bay Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning, playing in their 21st season in 2013-14, was founded by Hockey Hall-of Famer Phil Esposito in 1990, playing its first games in the National Hockey League in 1992-93. The team won the Stanley Cup in 2004 and it was purchased by Jeff Vinik in March, 2010. Over the past two years, Vinik has used a community-first approach while placing an emphasis on creating world class experiences for Lightning fans and event guests to completely transform the franchise and the Tampa Times Forum, the arena in which the Lightning plays its games. He has committed more than $10 million to Tampa Bay area charities and spent nearly $50 million to refurbish the Times Forum, a publicly-owned 19,204-seat arena.