ORLANDO – As part of the Orlando Magic’s continuing commitment to the Central Florida community, the team distributed grants totaling $1,000,000 to 24 grantee organizations in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) in a surprise ceremony on April 4 at Amway Center. Over the past 33 years, more than $28 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the OMYF.
The OMYF All-Star team was announced in the spirit of the NBA Draft as each nonprofit organization was recognized and presented with an OMYF jersey or basketball trophy. Representatives were greeted by Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos and Magic CEO Alex Martins.
“On behalf of the entire DeVos family, we are so honored to be able to give back to this great Orlando community each year on this very important day,” said Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos. “The foundation of our family has always been one surrounded in community work. It’s something my parents have always done. They always taught us that everybody has something to give – time, talent, treasure, whatever it may be. That’s just part of what we do, and it’s our responsibility to help. I truly am honored to be able to share in the excitement today of all of these very deserving organizations.”
After an extensive five-phase process, which began in August 2022, the beneficiaries were approved by the OMYF Board. This marks the 15th time that at least $1 million has been distributed through the OMYF since inception. In addition to the OMYF All-Star team announcement today, these organizations will be honored in-game tonight when the Magic host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“From the beginning of their ownership of the Magic franchise, the vision of Mr. and Mrs. DeVos was for the Magic to serve as a platform to improve our great city,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “And through the leadership of the DeVos family, giving back to our community in whatever way possible has always been a focal point in all that we do as an organization. The OMYF is one way we can continue to honor that vision and assist these amazing organizations who help the foundation fulfill its commitment to underserved youth and families in Central Florida.”
Each year, the Magic gives more than $2 million to Central Florida by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise and grants. At the heart of the Magic’s charitable efforts is the work done by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
The OMYF is committed to helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at-risk, by supporting nonprofit organizations offering youth-based programs in the areas of education, housing/homelessness, the arts and health programs focused on preventing childhood obesity. The OMYF raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction.
The Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, the signature fundraiser for the OMYF, was held March 25, 2023 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes. The weekend of events featured exclusive vintner dinners, an outdoor festival featuring live music, live auction displays, an e-auction, local and celebrity chefs, wineries, and food pavilions, along with Magic players and coaches. Each guest also received an invitation to today’s OMYF grant ceremony, where all funds from the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction, along with other fundraising opportunities, were distributed to these local nonprofit organizations here today.
“The services and programs that these organizations provide is inspiring and it is because of them the OMYF can assist so many at-risk youth in our community,” said OMYF President Linda Landman Gonzalez. “It truly is an honor to be able to assist so many deserving organizations in Central Florida. They are the true heroes and today we recognize them for their tireless efforts in helping the Central Florida children who need it the most.”
In addition to the OMYF’s fundraising efforts, the DeVos Family Foundation is donating a total of $3 million to 30 area nonprofit organizations as part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years initiative, which aims to invest in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida. The DeVos family also assisted the OMYF with fundraising efforts in 2021, providing $700,000 to the foundation to make up for the shortfall due to the pandemic and the OMYF not being able to hold its usual fundraising events. Through that donation, the OMYF was once again able to reach the $1 million milestone in 2021 to help at-risk youth and families in Central Florida.
For more information on the OMYF, visit www.omyf.org.
2023 GRANT RECIPIENTS (with grant amounts):
AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida – $55,000
AdventHealth for Children Healthy Weight and Wellness The program serves 80 new low-income children and teens that are overweight, obese or suffer from severe obesity using a comprehensive education and treatment program. The program will provide life adjusting guidance such as how to shop for healthy foods, fitness regiments, meal prep, group therapy, and financial assistance.
Children’s Home Society of Florida – $50,000
Full Court Press to College and Career Readiness The program prepares students for life after high school and set them up for success. It will enhance and expand current CPS-based initiatives: College/Career Expo, Next Step Workshops, Trade Certifications, FAFSA Frenzy. The program will add the Writer’s Room to support students in their pursuit of post-secondary education and training.
Education Foundation Osceola County – $50,000
Bookmark Buddies Mentoring Program The program is designed to improve the literacy skills of Osceola County’s at-risk third grade students that are at risk of being retained in the third grade and are reading at a second-grade level. Funds support a portion of the salaries for the program, which includes a program coordinator and program director. The grant will also support the printing cost of materials along with incentive books the students receive.
Foundation for Foster Children – $50,000
Empowering Independence for Foster Youth The program assists foster youth who are aging out of the system to build a life of independence while avoiding the negative outcomes of homelessness, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, high school dropout, and unemployment. The program ensures that the foster youth stay on track to reach their education and employment goals.
Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, Inc. – $50,000
Read2Succeed offers tutoring in early literacy skills, vocabulary, and fluency for kindergarten, first- and second grade students performing below grade level in reading. Grant funds will allow the Foundation to help elementary-aged children build critical literacy skills, enabling students to learn to read on grade level by third grade and eventually read to learn.
Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools – $40,000
Take Stock in Children’s core focus is to provide low-income students with a structured mentorship opportunity that supports their healthy growth through life and school. Upon graduating from high school and the program, the students are awarded a 2-year college scholarship. The funds will be used to support entry into a 2-year college for program participants, staff salaries, and supplies including background checks for mentors and college readiness workshop materials.
Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida – $40,000
Minority Male Summer Bridge Program Through the program, 50 black and brown male students receive comprehensive advising and financial aid assistance along with social programming, scholarship support, and educational opportunities to enhance their college experience. Through added activities, 80% will continue into enrollment into the fall semester.
Harbor House of Central Florida, Inc. – $30,000
Camp HOPE, Pathways, and Trailblazers Harbor House offers unique camp experiences for children who have witnessed or experienced violence. The goal of the program is to increase each child’s ability to believe in themselves and envision a future without violence and abuse and to motivate children to treat others with kindness, respect, and love. Funding will support program expenses for Camp HOPE, Pathways, and Trailblazers. Expenses include Camp HOPE counselors, nurses, food, transportation, training and technical assistance, and program supplies.
Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc. – $25,000
KYDS Healthy Habits The program assists at-risk youth who are facing increased chances of diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, all due to a preventable condition. Helping children maintain a healthy weight can reduce rates of disease, save lives, and reduce healthcare costs. Funds will be used to expand their reach from 80 to 100 youth in Orange County.
Hope Partnership – $50,000
Homelessness Prevention, Diversion, and Outreach Hope Partnership provides a holistic continuum of care for individuals and families experiencing poverty and homelessness in Central Florida. This request will fund critical aspects including the light touch financial assistance many households need to avoid homelessness, rental assistance, security deposits, travel tickets to reunite with family, car repairs, or utility assistance.
Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families – $50,000
Teen Xpress The goal for Teen Xpress’s “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” initiative is to reduce obesity among the program’s target population of underserved, low-income, teens who are predominantly Black and Hispanic. This funding will support physicals for 500 teens, 200 of which will receive intensive nutrition counseling services provided by the “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind” initiative. An additional 100 teens will participate in workshops providing information on sports nutrition and health education.
Junior Achievement of Central Florida, Inc. – $50,000
Education for Every Dimension of Life Three-Dimensional Education (3DE) by Junior Achievement is a comprehensive instructional model that authentically connects high school education to the real-world. Business partners serve as coaches and mentors as 3DE students implement analytical thinking and problem-solving skills through real-world integration. This funding provides a school-based site team lead who provides dedicated support for 3DE students and teachers; Professional development sessions for 3DE teachers (over twenty per school); Educators who work with companies to create case studies which are educationally valid and based on Harvard Case Methodology.
Lighthouse Central Florida, Inc. – $30,000
Youth Service for Children and Teens Who Are Visually Impaired or Blind Lighthouse Central Florida (LCF) empowers the lives of thousands of children and adults living with vision loss and blindness to lead productive, independent lives while pursuing their dreams and goals without limitations. Support one-on-one and group vision rehabilitation services focusing on early learning and college and career readiness for up to 45 infants, children, and teens who are vision-impaired or blind.
The Mental Health Association of Central Florida – $25,000
You Are A Lifeguard Provide Linking Education and Awareness for Depression and Suicide (LEADS) for Youth, an evidence-based suicide prevention curriculum and training to high schools within the Tri-County area. A survey/evaluation system to obtain student feedback from the LEADs participants before and after program participation. These will measure the prior knowledge base of suicide awareness and risk factors and post training the curriculum contents, and its impact on the students pertaining to developing increased suicide awareness and protective prevention strategies.
Orlando Ballet, Inc. – $25,000
Relevé in Search of Excellence (RISE) RISE is a professional arts initiative designed to introduce the performing arts in an accessible and enlightening way. Grant funds will support 5 high school residencies and the RISE Symposium. Funds will support Orlando Ballet Teaching Artists’ salaries and benefits, production and technical support for the performance showcase, marketing, travel expenses for up to 10 RISE Symposium panelists, and a portion of Community Enrichment staff.
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra – $35,000
Side-By-Side Music Mentorship Program The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (OPO) Side-by-Side Music Mentorship program offers opportunities for students to receive instruction in school from OPO musicians through group lessons that build mentor/role model relationships. The majority of grant funding will be used for the expansion of the program to Jones High School and the musician payments needed for this expansion.
Orlando Science Center – $25,000
Ignite Discovery Orlando Science Center (OSC) is guided by a mission to inspire science learning by reinforcing classroom curriculum and provides real world learning opportunities, making science relevant and engaging for all. Funding will provide programming to additional early learning programs and Head Start centers.
Orlando Shakes – $25,000
Enhancing Academic Performance to Underserved Present the production “Magic Tree House: The Jackie Robinson Story” to Title I OCPS students with the return of the Children’s Series after a two-year hiatus. 10,000 students would benefit from the play and supplementary arts education programming.
Osceola County Council on Aging, Inc. – $100,000
Building Strong Families Program: Eviction Prevention Assist 80 families with children (approximately 250 family members) that are at risk for homelessness over the course of one program year with rent and utility payments that will help them maintain safe, permanent housing. The program helps eligible families transition from economic crisis to stability and self-sufficiency by preventing homelessness and student transiency.
Page 15 – $50,000
Language Arts & Empowerment Programs Enable at-risk youth to discover the tools to build emotional resilience, advance critical literacy skills, and build empathy and connect with community. Assist 649 youth through a variety of events such as innovative literacy workshops and after-school enrichment programs, as well as opportunities for student publishing and community collaborations.
Steinway Society of Central Florida – $20,000
Piano Lesson Outreach Program Provides a series of free sequential group piano lessons for beginning students, at 15 elementary schools and community centers in low-income areas throughout Orange and Seminole counties. Funds will be used to partially underwrite teacher fees to conduct the lessons, help provide keyboards for the student practice and lessons, for educational materials, such as sheet music, books, and study guides; and for expenses related to the evaluation of the program.
United Against Poverty Orlando (UP Orlando) – $25,000
Family Stabilization: Pathways Out of Poverty Funding to support and stabilize low-income families who are struggling financially and help them reach economic self-sufficiency, as a deterrence to homelessness. Utilize resources for crisis counseling, food assistance, workforce development training, to divert from potential homelessness.
University Central Florida Foundation – $50,000
Intensive Reading Enrichment for Academic UCF iREAD has developed an intensive intervention program to remediate reading, spelling, and writing deficits, for increased learning, improved academic performance, and optimized potential for life-long success for children of low socioeconomic backgrounds (Parramore and Holden neighborhoods). Funding would allow the program to expand from 26 to 67: adding up to 25 children in summer 2023 and an additional 16 children in the fall and spring (2024) intensive programs.
YMCA of Central Florida – $50,000
Links 2 Learning (L2L) is an existing out-of-school program that focuses on increasing high school graduation rates, successful entry and completion at post-secondary educational and life-skill development for students of color in underserved and underrepresented communities. Funds usage include: Equipment/supplies, general office and program supplies c. Family and special event nights; Transportation expenses related to industry tours; Portion of FT and PT staff costs; Technology expenses related to on-site program delivery; Volunteer and staff training rooted in youth development best practices, program structure, curriculum and accountability; Organizational administrative support.
GRAND TOTAL: $1,000,000 to Central Florida