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St. Petersburg artist teams up with Lightning anthem singer

Matt Shapiro designed a T-shirt as a fundraiser to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in honor of anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey.
Matt Shapiro and Sonya Bryson-Kirksey sport the Puck MS T-shirt Shapiro created to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Matt Shapiro and Sonya Bryson-Kirksey sport the Puck MS T-shirt Shapiro created to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. [ Courtesy of Matt Shapiro ]
Published Jul. 2

Matt Shapiro is a big fan of all Tampa Bay sports, which he celebrates through his apparel business, 1771 Designs. He makes fun T-shirts in a category of his website called Diehard TB Fan Apparel.

Related: How a superstitious St. Petersburg artist designs Super Bowl merch.

But now he’s designed a T-shirt in an effort to do good. He’s part of the tight-knit community of Tampa Bay Lightning fans, so when he learned that the Lightning’s anthem singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey had multiple sclerosis, he wanted to help.

Related: Lightning's anthem singer hits all the right notes on and off the ice.

“The medications to control MS are expensive and unfortunately insurance doesn’t cover all of the costs, " Shapiro said in a news release. “Many battling MS have to choose between paying for their medications or their monthly expenses.”

Shapiro teamed up with Bryson-Kirksey, fellow fan Sarah Couture and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in an effort to “crush MS.” He designed a shirt that reads “Puck Multiple Sclerosis” and features a kiss print in Bryson-Kirksey’s signature blue lipstick. It also includes a military insignia, a nod to her being a retired U.S. Air Force technical sergeant.

Related: Lightning singer Sonya Bryson-Kirksey shares her blue lipstick secrets.

It’s $28, available online at 1771designs.com. 100 percent of the proceeds go to the National MS Society in honor of Bryson-Kirksey. So far, $1,400 has been raised.