Orlando Magic Youth Foundation awards $700K in grants to local nonprofits

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The Orlando Magic Youth Foundation reached its goal of distributing $1 million to Central Florida nonprofit groups in 2021.

The OMYF awarded 12 nonprofit organizations in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties with $700,000 worth of grants on Thursday. The $300,000 awarded in March pushes the OMYF’s distribution level to $1 million this year.

Grant recipients were recognized and honored during an event at Amway Center. Representatives were greeted by Magic chairman Dan DeVos, Magic CEO Alex Martins and Magic vice president of social responsibility and OMYF president Linda Landman-Gonzalez.

The foundation has now reached the $1 million distribution mark 13 times since its inception in 1990. In that time, more than $26 million has been given to more than 500 local nonprofit community organizations, and has in turn helped more than two million at-risk kids through the OMYF.

This year’s $1 million goal was in doubt because the fundraising events utilized by the foundation — like the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction — were canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. However, Magic ownership — the DeVos family — gave $700,000 to make up the difference.

“Giving to our community has always been a focal point in all that we do,” Martins said in a press release. “It’s an example that was set from day one by Mr. and Mrs. (Rich and Helen) DeVos and has been carried on by the entire DeVos family and the Magic organization ever since. This has been a challenging year for so many and we’re excited to partner with community organizations to make a real impact on our area’s youth.”

The Foundation for Foster Children and the Pace Center for Girls — Orange each received $100,000 grants on Thursday, while $50,000 grants went to the Children’s Home Society, City Year Orlando, the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, Elevate Orlando, the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, IMPOWER, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Shakes in partnership with UCF, Tech Sassy Girlz and the Valencia College Foundation.

Those organizations were selected through a five-phase review process that was initiated in March, when the OMYF rolled out the first wave of giving with three collaborative grants. Those $100,000 awards — given out during a virtual ceremony — went to AdventHealth Foundation/Hebni Nutrition Consultant, Orlando Science Center/Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida/Grace Medical Home. Each group received the same financial award the past two years, and this year’s funding closes a three-year commitment under the collaborative grants developed to support long-term and lasting solutions to complex issues.

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