Orlando Magic Youth Fund, McCormick Foundation to Provide $50,000 in Scholarships

Take Stock in Children of Orange County received $50,000 to help disadvantaged and at-risk youth be successful in school and go on to college. Take Stock was one of 21 local charities that received grants totaling $1 million from the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, in a celebration held on February 5 at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

“We are proud to be one of the 21 organizations recognized for making a significant difference in our community,” said Elisha Gonzalez, director of the Take Stock in Children program.

“The commitment of the Orlando Magic Youth Fund and The McCormick Foundation to provide opportunities to our students locally is unprecedented. This grant means providing scholarships, mentors and hope to many more students to end the cycle of poverty. We are honored to be part of the Orlando Magic’s All Star team.”

At the Feb. 5 announcement, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund, presented checks totaling $1,000,000 to 21 grantee organizations in a ceremony at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Over the past five years. the organization has handed out nearly $5 million in grants.

The OMYF-MFF All-Star team was announced in the spirit of the NBA Draft as each nonprofit organization was recognized and presented with an OMYF-MFF jersey or specialty basketball. Representatives were greeted by Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos, Magic CEO Alex Martins, Magic Vice President of Philanthropy and Multicultural Insights and OMYF President Linda Landman Gonzalez and the OMYF team.

With funds raised by OMYF, and the match provided by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a total of $1 million in grants was distributed to these charities. In addition to the OMYF-MFF All-Star team announcement, the organizations will be recognized during the remaining home games this season.

The organizations that received the grants were chosen following an extensive five-phase process, which began in April of 2014. The winning organizations were recommended by the OMYF Board and then approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors.

“We are so honored to assist these very deserving organizations who work tirelessly to improve the lives of youth in Central Florida,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “There are hundreds of youth organizations in our community who are doing great work to help guide at-risk youth on a path for a better life. This is just a small way for us to try and help them do their work. I also want to recognize the collaborative effort of the DeVos family, the McCormick Foundation, this community, our players, coaches, staff, corporate partners and season ticket holders that have made it possible to distribute more than $19 million to Central Florida youth over the last 25 years. For us to be able to distribute these funds and expand the number of children served or perhaps add another program, it’s incredibly humbling.”

“The Orlando Magic Youth Fund and McCormick Foundation share a commitment to addressing the growing needs of disadvantaged youth in the Central Florida community,” said David Hiller, president and CEO of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. “Thanks to the generous fans and donors, we are able to support these amazing community organizations providing opportunities for at-risk kids to grow, thrive and succeed.”

Each year, the Magic gives more than $2 million to Central Florida through 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 Orlando Magic Youth Foundation raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the Black Tie and Tennies Gala and the OMYF Open Golf Tournament.

Over the last 25 years, more than $1.8 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and more than $18 million through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF) since 1994. The McCormick Foundation matches all donations to the Fund at fifty cents on the dollar.

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 youth education, housing/homelessness, and health and wellness programs that promote healthy living practices for at-risk children and families. For more information, visit www.omyf.org<http://www.omyfopen.org>

The 2015 OMYF-MFF grant recipients: Aspire Health Partners – Zebra Coalition, Apopka Family Learning Center, BETA Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Children’s Home Society of Florida, City Year Orlando, Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Elevate Orlando, Florida Hospital for Children, Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Foundation for Seminole State College of Florida, Harbor House of Central Florida, Hope Community Center, Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Junior Achievement of Central Florida, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Osceola County Council on Aging, The Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, University of Central Florida Foundation, Valencia College Foundation

Valencia College administers Take Stock in Children—a statewide program—in the Orlando area in collaboration with Orange County Public Schools. Valencia’s Take Stock In Children program pairs community leader mentors with students starting in the 8th grade.

Students who maintain good grades, remain crime and drug free, and meet with their mentors are awarded a 2+2 Florida Prepaid scholarship upon graduating from high school. Students can attend a two-year community college and state university of their choice.

For more about Take Stock in Children, please visit http://valenciacollege.edu/tsic