University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Merry Lynn Morris Honored as Lightning Community Hero

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Tonight's community hero has opened the world of dance to people with disabilities. In 1987, Morris' father suffered a severe brain injury in a head-on collision. After, she became a full-time caregiver that used the arts to improve his quality of life. While serving as a board member at VSA Florida, she coordinated A New Definition of Dance, a program featuring a group of dancers with disabilities from all over the world. These series of performances aimed to eliminate negative stereotypes, introduce students with disabilities to new methods of communication and self-expression and to provide career development for artists with disabilities.

Morris has served in an active volunteer role for Revolutions Dance as a teacher and choreographer. Morris' ambition is to make dance universally accessible and to ensure the general public that dancers can produce professional-level work regardless of their looks and abilities.

Morris becomes the 213th Lightning Community Hero since Jeff and Penny Vinik introduced the program in 2011-12 with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening's game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $10.8 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area.

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Merry Lynn Morris Lightening