Mote Marine Laboratory is pleased to announce a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program. The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Carol and Barney Barnett as the first Lightning Community Heroes of the 2017-18 season during Friday night’s game against the Florida Panthers. As recipients of this award the Barnett’s were able to direct $50,000 to the charity of their choice, Mote Marine Laboratory. This donation will be used to match Carol and Barney’s Fisheries Conservation & Enhancement Initiative at Mote to conserve and enhance the local fisheries here in Southwest Florida.
“Carol and Barney Barnett are beyond heroes at Mote Marine Laboratory, they are a part of the Mote family” stated Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory. “We feel humbled that they have chosen Mote as the recipient of this generous donation from the Lightning Foundation. Their continued support will make a difference in local conservation and sustainable use of the marine environment for years to come.”
The Barnett's impact can be seen throughout the community but especially in environmental and marine conservation. As longtime supporters of Mote Marine Laboratory and fishing enthusiasts, the Barnett’s support has significantly enhanced restoration, conservation and sustainable use of the wild stocks of native fisheries in our community as well as the surrounding bay areas.
“We believe that it is imperative to support conservation efforts in the local community, like what Mote is doing, in order for future generations to enjoy the oceans as we have,” shared Barney Barnett. “We are honored to be recognized as Lightning Community Heroes and will continue to support those that are heroes in improving our local communities as well.”
The Barnett's are the 272nd Lightning Community Heroes since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. As of October 6, 2017 when the Lightning honored the Barnett’s, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $13.7 million to more than 400 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.