For his extraordinary commitment to service, notably among those with intellectual and physical disabilities in his community, Trace Nuss '19 was honored Saturday (March 9) by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a Community Hero of Tomorrow.
Nuss was awarded $50,000 from the Lightning Foundation, half of which goes toward his future education and the other half to a charitable endeavor of his choice. Nuss chose to split his $25,000 charitable donation between the Special Olympics of Hillsborough County and Superstars of Hillsborough.
It was an amazing night at Amalie Arena for Nuss, who serves as secretary of Jesuit's Key Club, is a QuestBridge scholar, and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the Tampa Mayor's Youth Corps. Nuss visited the Lightning team bench during pregame warmups, toured the team facilities and locker room, and then shared a luxury suite with friends to watch the Lightning's win over the Detroit Red Wings.
The crowning moment came during a late first period timeout. The lights in the arena dimmed and the focus turned to the giant scoreboard, where a video message detailed Nuss' accomplishments in earning the honor. Surrounded by friends, family, and supporters, Nuss held up his custom-made Lightning jersey and received an ovation from the 20,000 fans.
The Community Heroes of Tomorrow program is part of the Lightning's longstanding Community Hero program, which recognizes, honors, and celebrates a local "hero," and donates $50,000 to a non-profit charity of his or her choice at every Lightning home game. Through its first seven years, the Lightning Community Hero program has awarded $16.25 million to more than 430 local charities.
The Community Heroes of Tomorrow was added as an extension of the Community Hero program in 2017. It celebrates inspiring public-spirited individuals under age 25 from the Tampa Bay community who have a history of community service and volunteerism, and also have plans and ambitions to drive social change and make a positive future impact in the Tampa Bay community.
Click here to view Nuss' recognition on the Lightning website.
Below is a photo slideshow from Nuss' experience March 9 at the Lightning game.