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Orlando Magic Youth FoundationThe NBA mandates all of their teams to do community service, but it is up to the team owners if they want the team to have a foundation. The Orlando Magic and the Orlando Miracle are partnered with Robert R. McCormick Tribune Foundation. Rich DeVos is the owner of RDV Sports, the parent company for the Orlando Magic and Orlando Miracle. DeVos implemented the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation in 1988 and expanded it to include the Miracle Makers in 1999. The Orlando Magic Youth Foundation focuses on "helping every child in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk" (orlandomagic.com). OMYF supports programs and partnerships that empower families and change lives. Since 1989, the OMYF has raised and distributed more than $9 million to local non-profit organizations.

While the community focus for the 2001-2002 season has been the Read to Achieve program, there is other notable work the team has been involved with:

Rich and Helen Devos Community Enrichment Award:

This award is given to honor the efforts of the player on the team who contributes the most to the community off the court during the season. The Devos' s contribute $50,000 to a charity of the players choice. Past winners include Grant Hill, and Darrell Armstrong.

Ticket Programs:

Players host youth groups at various games during the season. Season ticket holders are also encouraged to donate unused tickets for a charitable youth organization to use. Some charities have included: The Boys and Girls Clubs of Seminole and Orange County, and the United Way.

Magic Wheels:Magic Wheels

The Magic have teamed up with the Florida Hospital Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine to work with it's wheelchair basketball team, who has a few opportunities a year to play.

Fly Away with the Magic:

The Magic sponsor an essay contest where the winner and a guest fly with the players and coaches to another NBA city for a game.

Child Abuse Prevention:

Continuing NBA supported efforts, during child abuse awareness month in April, the Magic hand out ribbons and shows an in-arena video on the Jumbotron prior to the start of the game.

Partners in Education:

The Magic work closely with local businesses to promote job shadowing and encourage Orlando youth to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

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© 2002 Nancy Benton Parish

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