Orlando Magic, AdventHealth Surprise Local Boys & Girls Club With Teen Room Renovation

BY JOSH COHEN, OrlandoMagic.com

ORLANDO – A couple weeks ago, the Orlando Magic and AdventHealth held a basketball clinic for a few dozen youth from the Levy-Hughes Boys & Girls Club in Parramore. Afterwards, the teenagers that attended were surprised with tickets to Game 4 of the Magic’s first-round playoff series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Last week, another Central Florida Boys & Girls Club got a big surprise. This time, it was at the Universal Orlando Branch Foundation on Raleigh Street, where representatives from the Magic, including Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw, and AdventHealth came by to renovate the teen room with a new television, study tables, gaming chairs, pop-a-shot, a foosball table, gaming consoles, an NBA Jam Arcade system, video games and board games.

There were also updates added to the club’s “quiet room,” including new furniture and mental health resources for youth. In addition, the Magic and AdventHealth provided the entire club with Papa John’s pizza.

“We are really excited to be able to offer this opportunity to the Boys and Girls Clubs, which has been a long-standing partner of the Orlando Magic and OMYF (Orlando Magic Youth Foundation),” Magic Executive Vice President of Marketing and Social Responsibility Shelly Wilkes said. “Through our partnership with AdventHealth and our run in the playoffs, we wanted to really give back and find a project and opportunity to really support the kids in our community.

“I think it’s really important for the Magic to be engaged with the youth of our community in a multitude of ways. And this is just one of those ways where we can provide a safe space for them, provide excitement, provide engagement, and provide a place that they want to come to every day – so that they can enrich their lives and be positive influences on their peers as well.”

The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is to “inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”

Every day after school, as well as all summer long, the clubs provide a safe and caring experience for children between the ages of 6 and 18 from Central Florida’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, at no or little cost to their families. By providing academic support, extracurricular opportunities and guidance from positive adult role models, the clubs aim to break the cycle of poverty for future generations.

Having organizations such as the Magic and AdventHealth do all they do for the community is a game changer – not only for the resources they provide, but also for the spirit and compassion that the kids feel when they come around.

“I think it’s incredible,” said Charlene Cypress, service director at the Universal Orlando Branch Foundation Boys & Girls Club. “I think that the kids see role models such as the Magic, and they see those figures as someone that they want to be like. But to have the two bridge the gap between the Magic and Boys and Girls Club provides them with the opportunity to say, ‘the same that they did, I can do too.’”

As partners for 30 years, the Magic and AdventHealth are committed to enhancing the healthy, active lives of players, fans and the Central Florida community. Together, they’ve gone above and beyond throughout these years to help youth reach their full potential.

“For us as the Orlando Magic, one of the key elements of who we are as an organization is to support the community and really be that fabric for Central Florida,” Wilkes said. “When we have partners like AdventHealth that can come alongside us and do that, it’s extremely important. We always say that every day in the community is gameday. That is truly what we believe. It’s how we operate as an organization, and we are so thankful that AdventHealth is that partner that can come alongside us and do that – and to be able to support the Boys and Girls Clubs, which do amazing work.”

Off the court, on an annual basis, the Magic give more than $2 million to the local community by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. Magic community relations programs impact an estimated 100,000 kids each year, while a Magic staff-wide initiative provides more than 7,000 volunteer hours annually. In addition, the OMYF, which serves at-risk youth, has distributed more than $29 million to local nonprofit community organizations over the last 34 years.