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SARASOTA, FL, February 08, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ -- SMART is pleased to congratulate Gail Clifton on being honored by the Tampa Bay Lightning as their 291st Community Hero for her work with the SMART organization over the past 20 years. Ms. Clifton and her guests were treated to a Bolts game on December 29th and given a special tour of Amalie Arena and the Lightning locker room. Ms. Clifton was presented with a $50,000 grant check by Steve Griggs, CEO of the Lightning and Lightning left winger Chris Kunitz. The grant will be used to help fund construction of SMART's covered arena to provide therapeutic horseback riding and learning activities during inclement weather.
"We are all feeling the deepest gratitude to the Lighting Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation for their fabulous grant of $50,000 - and to Jabil for wining and dining all of us in the Jabil Community Heroes Suite," said Ms. Clifton. "I feel very lucky to now be a part of the Lightning Community Heroes family - and I've always felt very lucky to be a part of the SMART family."
Ms. Clifton volunteered as the executive director of SMART for 17 years where she helped to provide riding therapy to those with physical and emotional challenges through agencies in Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. She currently teaches as a SMART instructor and was nominated for the award by SMART volunteer Winny Rush.
The Lighting Community Hero program was introduced in the 2011-12 season by Jeff and Penny Vinik with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. To date, the Lightning Foundation has granted $14.65 million to more than 300 different nonprofits in the greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Viniks' announced that the Community Hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.
For more information about SMART's programs, please visit http://www.smartriders.org or http://www.facebook.com/smartriders.
Established in 1987, Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy (SMART) is a non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding, therapeutic carriage driving and equine-assisted learning for individuals with disabilities. Located in eastern Manatee County, SMART is a mostly volunteer organization that serves over 650 individuals with disabilities each year, including people with a variety of challenges such as autism, attention deficit disorder, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, as well as individuals with terminal illness, emotional or mental health conditions, and hearing, speech or vision impairments. Among the activities offered are therapeutic horseback riding and driving, a literacy program, and programs for veterans, women with breast cancer, at risk youth and teens, and victims of human trafficking. Volunteers age 14 and over are welcome to join the organization at any time after completing an orientation and training program.
SARASOTA MANATEE ASSOCIATION for RIDING THERAPY, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 Organization.
All Contributions are Tax Deductible. CH4398 65-0043354
A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR BY VISITING http://www.FloridaConsumerHelp.com
REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.
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