Sophia Baldor receives Tampa Bay Lightning HERO award

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Tampa Bay Lightning

Sophia Baldor receives HERO award at intermission of the Lightning vs. Winnipeg Jets game on Thursday, February 2.

Tori Litschgi, Achona Staff

The Tampa Bay Lightning presented Academy senior Sophia Baldor with its Community Heroes award during the first intermission of the February 2nd home game against the Winnpeg Jets. Only 41 finalists receive this award throughout the season for outstanding leadership, involvement within the community, and dedication to helping others, distinguishing Sophia among the top leaders in Tampa Bay.

The team awards $50,000 to the nonprofit organization of the recipient’s choice as a way of giving back to the community. Sophia decided to give $30,000  to Frameworks of Tampa Bay, an organization with which she has been involved for three years and the one that nominated her for this award. She also elected to donate $10,000 each to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.  Sophia has hosted events for the Crisis Center, such as “Take Back the Night,” and serves as a mentor for the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness through her work with the Frameworks Teens in Action program.

She said, “Upon hearing the news that I was a recipient, I was, and still am, shocked, honored, and incredibly humbled by this award.  I prefer to do all that I do in silence, for the rewards that way are more satisfying.”

During the intermission, the Lightning presented a five-minute video spotlight about Sophia on the Jumbotron for all to see.  The video showed all of Sophia’s achievements and her exemplifications of the qualities entailed in this honor.

At the game itself, the team provided Sophia, her family, and the organization representatives with their own private box to watch the matchup versus the Jets. Prior to the game, Sophia had the privilege of touring the stadium and meeting the Bolts’ players, coaches, and owner. The Lightning even gifted her with a personalized jersey to wear that night.

On Friday Sophia received congratulations from her Academy classmates for an honor that represents the motto of Spirit Week, “What More Can I Do?” Sophia’s dedication to the community has inspired her sisters to go above and beyond in service, making her an Academy hero as well.