Written by: Jacob Lynn, TampaBayLightning.com
The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Richard ‘Trace’ Nuss as the 37th Lightning Community Hero this season during the first period of the game versus the Detroit Red Wings. Nuss, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate half to the Superstars and Special Olympics Florida, while the other half will go towards a scholarship for his own education.
Several years ago, Richard started working with Superstars of Hillsborough, a league of bowlers with developmental differences. He became league coordinator and quickly wanted to find more ways to volunteer and help the Tampa Bay Community. He is now a year-round coach for Special Olympics Florida football, basketball, volleyball and bowling teams. Richard decided to attend Jesuit High School in order to be a part of the school’s extensive community service program. Through this program he has continued to help disadvantaged youths, as well as the elderly, disabled, and poor.
This past summer Richard traveled to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota to teach young children from the Lakota Sioux Tribe. The Rosebud Reservation is located in America’s poorest country, yet the children Nuss worked with were full of life and happiness which inspired him to come back to Tampa and make a greater difference. Richard plans to work on expanding and developing the Superstars bowling initiatives so they can reach more people. He also plans to continue his education in the area of public policy and eventually earn a law degree to become an education attorney. As an education attorney, he wants to continue being a voice for the voiceless such as the Lakota children and the Superstars.
Richard Nuss becomes the 362nd 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 $18.1 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.