TampaBayLightning.com press release
The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Marc Colaluce as the 38th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of the game versus the Washington Capitals. Colaluce, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half to Special Olympics Florida.
Dr. Colaluce runs his own podiatry practice in St. Petersburg, Florida where thirty percent of the patients have an intellectual or developmental disability. Marc wanted to give back to the community so he started working with Special Olympics Florida and for over 12 years now he has led the Healthy Athletes Fit Feet program at local, regional and state games. In 2014 he became the Fit Feet Clinical Director.
Fit Feet was developed through a Special Olympics’ collaboration with the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. During Special Olympics Florida competitions, volunteer health care professionals lead by Dr. Colaluce, examine athletes’ feet and ankles for deformities, injuries and disease to help find proper fitting shoes and socks. He expanded the program’s impact by partnering with the Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine and securing volunteer hours through his personal business.
Over the last 10 years, Special Olympics Florida’s Fit Feet program has performed 13,135 podiatry exams. Dr. Colaluce specifically, has provided over 1,000 volunteer hours while conducting and supervising over 75 health exam events. Marc was instrumental in introducing and training podiatrists for two Special Olympics Florida Healthy Community sites in the state and conducting recruiting trips to ensure their longevity. Dr. Colaluce has reached out to many organizations for donations and has secured 400 pairs of Crocs from the Crocs Foundation, several hundred knee braces, over 1,000 pairs of orthotic inserts from FootOptions and over 3,000 pairs of shoes from Fit Niche.
Marc Colaluce becomes the 363rd Lightning Community Hero 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. In total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $18.15 million to more than 400 different nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2016, the Vinik’s announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.