ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Whitney Stout of Parc Center for Disabilities was honored as a Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero on Saturday, March 11. The $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Heroes Foundation, presented by Jabil, was donated to Parc Center for Disabilities by Stout.
The donation will help fund the continuation of vital respite services for families of children with developmental disabilities. When the department’s main funding source ended last year, Stout petitioned the Executive Leadership Team and Parc Board of Directors to support continuation of the program. Stout began a tireless campaign to fundraise, create awareness and establish partnerships with other Tampa Bay area nonprofits, foundations, and individuals.
Without her passion, dedication, and leadership, approximately 240 Tampa Bay area children and family members, would have lost critical, life-saving relief care services.
The Lighting Foundation grant will be used to support the mission of Parc Center for Disabilities and the Caregiver Relief Services program that is vital in preventing child abuse and neglect, reducing caregiver burnout, and keeping the family unit in-tact for families of children with special needs in the Tampa Bay area.
Established in 2010, Caregiver Relief is a pillar for families in need of assistance. The department, led by Whitney Stout, is designed to offer short-term breaks to relieve stress for families raising a child with a diagnosed disability, developmental delay, or documented trauma. It currently serves 60 families across Pinellas.
In June, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center named Caregiver Relief an Innovative and Exemplary Respite Service, an award only five programs across the country received. Whitney had the opportunity of speaking at an ARCH conference in September, where she was also presented with this award.
“I am beyond honored and grateful to accept this recognition on behalf of Caregiver Relief Services and Parc Center for Disabilities. Thank you to the Lightning Foundation and Jabil for this amazing and prestigious recognition and for shining a light on this unique program and population, which otherwise goes unseen. Being named a Community Hero by the Lightning Foundation is an incredible honor and is by far, one of the coolest experiences of my life!
Stout became the 537th 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. Through the March 11th game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $29.22 million to more than 700 unique nonprofits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. During the summer of 2021, the Viniks announced that the community hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.
About Parc Center for Disabilities
Parc Center for Disabilities is a nonprofit organization that has been serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1953. Our “person-centered” approach has garnered a reputation as a progressive leader in our field and in the community. As an organization and a community, we share a powerful belief that all persons should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and let their capabilities shine. Parc Center for
Disabilities is wholly dedicated to ensuring that every individual we serve is valued, respected, and embraced by all for their uniqueness. Follow Parc Center for Disabilities on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook