Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier announces the official launch of the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation benefiting children in the Tampa Bay area.
TAMPA, Fla. (December 7, 2005) – Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent Lecavalier announces the official launch of the Vincent Lecavalier Foundation benefiting children in the Tampa Bay area.
"Over the past seven seasons that I’ve been here in Tampa, the city has become my home," said Lecavalier at a press conference held earlier today. "I wanted to create a program that will benefit the children of Tampa, and with this foundation, I hope to achieve that."
Through various programs, partnering with Kane’s Furniture and DEX Imaging, Lecavalier will become involved with charitable organizations throughout Tampa Bay. The Foundation’s programs include I.C.E. Days, Vinny’s ICE Pack, Suite Stanley Game Day Ticket Program, Power Plays for Tampa Bay, and NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund.
Over the next 12 to 24 months, Lecavalier will announce a legacy project that will have a significant, long-term impact and benefit on the Tampa Bay community. To better understand community needs, Lecavalier will begin a series of I.C.E. Days when he will work in and alongside local charities. According to Lecavalier, the objective of I.C.E. Day visits is to "gain a better understanding of community need through charitable agency visits and volunteerism." I.C.E. Day visits are an extension of Lecavalier’s belief in a personal style of giving back. The Foundation anticipates that while most I.C.E. Days will be public, some may be conducted anonymously to protect the agency and its beneficiaries. The first I.C.E. Day was held today at the Bill Poe Family Junior Achievement Center Home of Junior Achievement Enterprise Village.
Beginning with the December 7, 2005 Foundation launch, youth participating in a Vincent Lecavalier Foundation program or event will be referred to as members of Vinny’s ICE PACK. Formerly "Vinny’s Kids," ICE PACK members will receive a t-shirt and Lecavalier photo.
Lecavalier’s Suite Stanley Game Day Ticket Program hosts charitable organization youth and families throughout the Tampa Bay area in a private suite at Tampa Bay Lightning home games. The 2005-06 is the first season Lecavalier will host children and families, each of whom will receive special seating and a Vinny’s ICE PACK t-shirt. When possible, Lecavalier will visit the suite post-game to sign autographs and pose for photos. To celebrate the Stanley Cup win with the youth of Tampa Bay, game day attendance through the Suite Stanley program will be available via an online grant application beginning January 1, 2006. To qualify, the recipient agency must be, or have and affiliation with, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Since 2003, Lecavalier, in partnership, with Kane’s Furniture, has donated nearly $60,000 to All Children’s Hospital through an on-ice performance initiative. For every goal Lecavalier scores, Lecavalier and Kane’s donate $1,000; for every assist, $300. Power Play for Tampa Bay is an expansion of this successful funding program, allowing fans to participate alongside Lecavalier and his partners to improve the Tampa Bay community. Beginning with the January 13, 2006 game, corporate and individual pledges may be made online at www.vincentlecavalier.com. Each pledge will be tracked and an invoice will be sent to participants at the end of season.
"Kane’s is proud to partner with Vinny," said Irwin Novack, Chief Executive Officer, Kane’s Furniture. "We’ve watched him as a player over the last seven years, and we’ve seen up close what an asset he is to our community."
"It’s exciting to see the level of commitment Vinny is making to our community," said Daniel Doyle, Jr. of DEX Imaging, Inc., a foundation partner. "Having distinguished himself on the ice, we look forward to working with him to create a legacy off the ice and in the community."
The Vincent Lecavalier Foundation also partners with the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) and the NHLPA Goals and Dreams Fund to provide incremental funding for youth hockey programs. To date, more than 80 complete sets of hockey equipment have been provided to children who need assistance due to social or financial reasons.
The Foundation has its early roots in Rimouski, Québec where Lecavalier played for Rimouski Oceanic and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Each year, Lecavalier returns to participate in a golf outing to raise funds for the program.
"Through these programs, I will have a better understanding of the immediate needs of Tampa and Rimouski," said Lecavalier. "In doing so, I hope to be able to help make a change for the better."
The Vincent Lecavalier Foundation, established in December 2005, was formed to stimulate the positive development of youth and families in the Tampa Bay, Fla. and Rimouski, Québec communities through charitable outreach projects. For more information, visit www.vincentlecavalier.com.