During the first period of the Lightning’s game against the Ottawa Senators Oct. 11, the team presented its second hero of the year award to Graci McGillicuddy.
McGillicuddy was presented with a $50,000 check from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program.
The program chose McGillicuddy because of her dedication to improve the lives of abused children in Sarasota. She helped to build the Child Advocacy Center in 2011, raising more than $6 million. She also co-founded and co-chairs Embracing Our Differences, an organization that uses the arts to teach the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Dennis McGillicuddy, her husband, is the board president of the Florida Studio Theater; together, they have been highly involved in the theatre’s progression grow to be the third largest subscription theatre in the nation, according to a press release.
She received the Florida Senate Medallion Award of Excellence for outstanding leadership and dedication to helping children stay safe and free from abuse in 2009.
McGillicuddy plans to give the money to the Child Protection Center, a Sarasota program founded in 1980. The program is located in the Child Advocacy Center.