Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Spotlight: Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida

By John Denton
May 14, 2014

ORLANDO – When the economy was perilously in a freefall in 2008 and jobs were tough to come by in Central Florida, the Orlando Magic and the City of Orlando worked closely with local minority- and female-owned businesses to provide work during the construction of the Amway Center.

Andrew Powell’s construction company, The Apos Group, was a benefactor of the Magic and the City of Orlando awarding more than 30 percent of the contracts worth approximately $90 million to minority- and women-owned companies. Of the 170-plus minority and women-owned companies that did work on the Amway Center, 61 were African-American owned, 52 were female-owned, 37 were Hispanic-owned, 22 were Asian-American owned and two were Native American-owned. The Magic and the City went above and beyond to offer job opportunities, exceeding the mandated 24 percent by providing work to 30 percent of minority- and female-owned companies.

In January, when the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF), handed out $600,000 in grant money to 25 local nonprofit organizations, Powell once again got to see firsthand the Magic’s willingness to give back and make a difference in the community. Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida received a $15,000 grant, and Executive Director Powell found it somewhat surreal how his ties to the Magic had intertwined.

“It’s all coming full circle for me,” Powell said. “I enjoy what I am doing (with the Rescue Outreach Mission) because it brings together my vocational training in construction as well as my passion, which is being a blessing and a benefit to others. … Orlando is still a growing town, so to have the Magic step up in visible and tangible ways it sets an example of other organizations and businesses. They show the small parts that make a greater whole. It’s a positive and it speaks well for the Magic and their leadership.”

In 2008 and ’09, Powell’s Apos Group had two subcontracts during the construction of the Amway Center to build the storage mezzanines in the basement of the facility and for the mobile filing units for the administrative offices.

As the Executive Director of the Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida, his organization received a $15,000 grant to aid the “Opportunities and Hope” program that provides a safe haven for women and their children fleeing domestic violence.

In the last 24 years more than $18.8 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF-MFF), a McCormick Foundation Fund since 1994, which serves at-risk youth.

This past year alone, the Magic awarded $600,000 in grants to 25 nonprofit organizations based throughout Central Florida. The 25 grantees were a nod to the Magic’s year-long celebration of its 25th anniversary season. The $600,000 in grants given out in January raise the total to $3.8 million awarded by the OMYF-MFF over the past four years.

Here is a closer look at Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida’s mission and the Magic’s work in the Central Florida community:

2014 GRANT RECIPIENTS FROM MAGIC: Adult Literacy League, Apopka Family Learning Center, BETA Center, Boys Town Central Florida, Children’s Home Society of Florida, City Year, Early Learning Coalition of Orange County, Elevate Orlando, Florida Hospital for Children, Foundation for Foster Children, Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools, Gift of Swimming, Harbor House of Central Florida, Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Howard Phillips Center for Children & Families, Orange County Library System, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Osceola Council on Aging, Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida, The Center for Drug Free Living-Zebra Coalition, The Salvation Army, University of Central Florida Foundation, Valencia College Foundation.

FEATURED ORGANIZATION: Rescue Outreach Mission of Central Florida

RESCUE OUTREACH MISSION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA PURPOSE: Rescue Outreach Mission is a human resources agency located in Seminole County that provides a safe, supportive and healing environment in which disadvantaged or homeless people receive the assistance they need to return to self sufficiency. This is accomplished by providing resources such as food, shelter, clothing and counseling. Rescue Outreach Mission also provides comprehensive referral services to help clients find the resources needed that extend beyond the Outreach organization.

2014 GRANT MONEY TO RESCUE OUTREACH OF CENTRAL FLORIDA: $15,000

RESCUE OUTREACH MISSION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA QUOTE: “Orlando is still a growing town, so to have the Magic step up in visible and tangible ways it sets an example of other organizations and businesses. They show the small parts that make a greater whole. It’s a positive and it speaks well for the Magic and their leadership.’’ – Andrew Powell, executive director

ORLANDO MAGIC QUOTE: “I’m really proud of what the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation has been able to do and the commitment that they have to Central Florida and so many organizations. The Orlando Magic Youth Fund, as part of the McCormick Fund, has been able to donate $18 million to more than 500 nonprofit organizations and have a positive impact on 1 million youth throughout the community. That’s impressive. My family is very dedicated to this organization and to this community and it’s just great to see the response of organizations and the results that they are able to achieve.” – Magic Chairman Dan DeVos