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Lightning announce #StickTogether auction to benefit coronavirus relief efforts

Fans will have the chance to bid on signed sticks from every current Lightning player and some former ones, too.
The stick of Lightning center Tyler Johnson rests along with others just off the team bench before players make their way down the tunnel for pregame warmups before taking on the Vegas Golden Knights in February in Tampa.
The stick of Lightning center Tyler Johnson rests along with others just off the team bench before players make their way down the tunnel for pregame warmups before taking on the Vegas Golden Knights in February in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Apr. 23, 2020
Updated Apr. 23, 2020

Like many other sports organizations, the Lightning are trying to help people suffering from the coronavirus any way they can.

The team’s latest effort is a live online auction that allows fans to donate money directly toward relief efforts in exchange for a player-signed stick.

Every current player on the team’s roster is featured, in addition to some former players, including 2004 Stanley Cup champion captain Dave Andreychuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Brian Bradley and others.

The online auction started Thursday and will end May 1 at 5 p.m. The bidding on sticks for current players starts at $150, while former player sticks are starting at $75. Fans also can choose to donate any amount they wish on the website without bidding on a stick.

The auction is just the latest effort the Lightning has made since the coronavirus halted the season last month.

Tampa Bay owners Jeff and Penny Vinik have donated nearly $2 million in relief efforts so far, including $1 million to Metropolitan Ministries, $100,000 to both “One Tampa” and a similar fund in St. Petersburg to help individuals and small businesses, and $50,000 to a student fund at USF.

Related: How Bucs, Rays and the rest of the sports world are helping in the coronavirus fight

All of the proceeds from a T-shirt sale based on forward Alex Killorn’s “Dock Talk with Killer” live Instagram show will go to the Hillsborough Education Foundation to help children who can’t get resources like food and educational supplies during this time of online learning.

The Lightning also pledged to create a fund for Amalie Arena’s part-time employees and donate 500,000 meals to Feeding Tampa Bay in late March. The players’ significant others are lending a hand, as well, donating food to the staff at Tampa General Hospital.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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