TAMPA, Fla. — Thousands of teachers and students in Hillsborough County will benefit from Lightning star Alex Killorn getting teased by his teammates.
The strange-but-true story of Killorn's recent $50,000 donation for much-needed school supplies goes something like this: Alex's teammates were giving the star winger guff for his lack of social media skills.
As a comical comeback, he started an Instagram show, "Dock Talk with Killer," in which he'd zip around on his jet ski and interview celebrities.
Lo and behold, the show became an online smash.
Killorn, a Harvard grad whose mom is a former teacher, started selling merchandise emblazoned with the show's logo.
He raised $50,000 from "Dock Talk" and donated the money to the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF), which helps teachers and students in need get necessary school supplies and services.
"Alex is a hero to us," says HEF CEO Kim Jowell.
The average teacher spends about $500 of their own money every year on classroom supplies. HEF tries to help bridge that gap, but supplies are running low this year.
Killorn's donation helps a lot, especially in the digital realm.
With the pandemic lasting longer than some expected, more families are unable to afford internet service at home. That is a problem with the increase in online learning.
HEF jumped in and made sure hundreds of students had the equipment and the service for home WiFi. Now the kids can continue to do schoolwork.