Cole Anthony Hosts Bowling Fundraiser, Announces $20K Donation to Pair of Charities

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

ORLANDO - Earlier this month, Cole Anthony was named the winner of the 2023-24 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment award, which goes to the Orlando Magic player each year that goes above and beyond in the community to enhance the lives of others.

With that honor, the DeVos family gives $20,000 to the winning player for them to then pass on to charities of their choice. The two Anthony selected, announced Monday night at his 50 Ways Foundation bowling fundraiser at Primrose Lanes, were Vibrant Families and CrossTown 119. 

“This stuff is important because it’s bigger than basketball,” Anthony said. “Basketball obviously is a big part of our lives, but there are other aspects to our lives – whether that’s our family, trying to give back to the community, give back to people who are less fortunate than us. Everyone on this team does their part to help do it.”

Now in his fourth season with the Magic, the 23-year-old Anthony has consistently volunteered his time off the court and to the Central Florida community supporting the Magic’s mission to be world champions on and off the court, delivering legendary moments every step of the way. In addition to supporting the Magic’s initiatives, Anthony’s 50 Ways Foundation is dedicated to inspiring, empowering and mentoring youth by providing new experiences and resources that create different opportunities for them to be successful.

The 6-foot-3 guard was the 20th player in franchise history to win the Rich & Helen DeVos Community award. He’s one of four players on the current roster to earn the honor, with the others being Jonathan Isaac (2019-20), Markelle Fultz (2021-22) and Wendell Carter Jr. (2022-23).

“That kind of tells you about this team – we have so many selfless dudes on this team,” Anthony said after winning the award. “It’s bigger than you and me. That’s how everyone on this team looks (at it) – whether it’s on the court, off the court.”

Vibrant Families supports at-risk and fatherless young men from ages 10-19 in Central Florida. The programs include The Legacy Club— offering mentoring, new experiences and personal development; and The Better Together Partnerships—focused on building community collaborations.

CrosssTown 119 cultivates a Gospel environment where loved people, love people. Crosstown currently has a private school, an after school program, and a men’s discipleship program.

Each of these organizations received $10,000 from Anthony.

Making Monday’s bowling fundraiser, which included other games and a silent auction, even more special for Anthony was that all of his Magic coaches and teammates were there as well.  

“That’s so dope. I have to give a big shoutout to everyone on the team,” he said. “Mose (head coach Jamahl Mosley), all the coaching staff. It’s really dope to see them all support this event.” 

The event where Anthony won the award, the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction held at the Four Seasons Resort on March 2, raised a record of more than $1 million for the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), which benefits at-risk children in Central Florida.

This was the first year the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction raised more than $1 million. The fundraising extravaganza in its fourth year included live and e-auctions, as well as an outdoor festival, featuring live music, local and celebrity chefs, wineries, and food pavilions.

The Magic players and coaches were all in attendance at that event to help create awareness on the needs in the community and the work the OMYF does each year.

“Having players get involved from a contribution side is really pretty special,” said Magic Chairman/Governor Dan DeVos. “The players of today are more sensitive and aware of the needs that are out there. They are more aware of their responsibility and their ability to make a difference. They are contributing, not only (with their) time, but of course a lot of their talent…I give them a great deal of respect for that.”

In August 2023, the OMYF announced it will distribute grants totaling $1 million in three ways – a summer grant cycle, a winter grant cycle and microgrants. Thus far, the summer grant cycle and the first set of microgrants have been announced (microgrants are distributed quarterly).

Over the last 34 years, more than $29 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the OMYF, which raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction.

“For us at the Magic, it’s incredibly important that we give back to the community that gives so much to us,” Magic CEO Alex Martins said. “They support us all season long, and for the 35 years that we’ve been in existence. We feel it’s our responsibility to be a leader in the community, to give back to our community, and to help build our community.”

Earlier on Monday, Mosley and all of his players hosted a basketball clinic for youth at the AdventHealth Training Center. The kids learned from the pros about the fundamentals of the game through various drills focused on passing, ball handling, shooting and defense.

“It’s what this group and this organization understands – that’s it’s about the court, but we say we want to be champions on and off court. You want to give back (and) you want to take care of the people that are out supporting us and doing things for this organization and this team,” Mosley said. “It couldn’t come at a better time. We talked to the guys about fundamentals today and the clinic is about the fundamentals of the game (also).”