DeVos Family Provides Central Florida Community with Great Assist

DeVos Family Foundation will honor 30 Central Florida nonprofit organizations with gifts totaling $3 million
Magic Chairman Dan DeVos
by Dan Savage

ORLANDO – Since acquiring the franchise 30 years ago, the DeVos family has put the importance of community at the forefront of every aspect of the Orlando Magic.

From the Magic’s community relations programs to the work done by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), the franchise has had an immense impact on the Central Florida area on an annual basis. Their desire to give back is even engrained into the fabric of the team’s mission statement of being world champions both “on and off the court.”

That tone was set forth by the late Rich DeVos, who upon acquiring the Magic had one request – please don’t call him the owner. “The real stake in the team is the community and people who are the fans who come to the games,” DeVos said at the time. “We’re just the caretakers of your team and we’ll try to do a good job for you.”

Now, following its first three decades as caretakers, DeVos family members are going a step further – formally thanking the community and fans with a new giving pledge called “30 grants for 30 years”. The effort will contribute a total of $3 million to 30 area nonprofit organizations over the next 18 months and seeks to invest in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.

“We can’t image better partners than Magic fans and the Central Florida community,” Magic Chairman Dan DeVos said. “We’re eager to come alongside nonprofits doing impactful work, providing financial support as well as an opportunity to shine a light on the great things these nonprofits do on a daily basis. It’s all to honor the great community we’re thankful to be in.”

As part of the “30 grants for 30 years” initiative, each selected nonprofit will be honored at its very own Magic game in the 2021-22 or 2022-23 season. Representatives will be honored during the game, featured on Magic digital platforms and given the chance to share their story with fans of the franchise.

“We’re still working out the details, but we recognize that each group has a great story to tell and we’re happy to help them share it with Magic fans,” Dan DeVos explained. “We hope to have representatives recognized on the court and jumbotron during these games, along with sharing their stories on Magic digital platforms. These organizations do great work and deserve recognition.”

To tip off the giving, it was only fitting that the OMYF – which is committed to helping children reach their full potential – was selected to receive support as the initial grantee. The DeVos family aimed to “supercharge” this long-time partner’s efforts through the “30 for 30” initiative. Over the course of the coming months, 29 additional nonprofit recipients will be announced along with the game dates when they will be recognized.

“There are so many worthy nonprofits in this region that selecting only 30 nonprofits would be extremely difficult,” Magic Vice President of Shareholder Engagement Ryan DeVos said. “Given that OMYF is our first honoree, we’re able to empower their board to find even more recipients through their traditional grant making process and have even more impact. We’re honored to serve in the role of team caretaker and eager to highlight the meaningful work led by these organizations in our community.”

The OMYF’s impact on the Central Florida community cannot be overstated. During the last 30-plus years, the OMYF has raised and distributed more than $26 million to local nonprofit community organizations. More than 500 local nonprofit agencies have received funds over that span. The DeVos family covers all operating expenses so that 100 percent of money raised goes to the community.

For the third generation of DeVos family caretakers, like Ryan, the memories of the Magic and giving back to the community are intertwined. They’ve served as a connecting point for both the family as well as their ties to Central Florida.

“From a growing and holistic standpoint, if you will, the Magic was a real opportunity that my grandpa and I loved to connect around,” said Ryan DeVos. “Being able to sit down and talk basketball or listen to his story of how he got involved with the team, just being able to hear his passion and his hear his vision. The real thread that ties it all together is that it was and remains such an important part of our family.”

The value of connecting with the community was set in place by that first generation of caretakers. It’s a major reason why the OMYF’s annual Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award features the names of the initial caretakers of the Magic and is awarded each year to a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing other’s lives.

Along with their assistance to the OMYF, the DeVos family has contributed $529 million to nonprofit causes in the last five years, a level noted by Forbes when naming the family as one of the nation’s top givers. Much of the DeVos family’s philanthropy supports efforts to underserved communities and support work to enact meaningful change, remove barriers, and allow for all to achieve their full potential.

“From my standpoint, it’s really what it’s all about,” said Ryan DeVos of his family’s philanthropy. “We’ve been extraordinarily blessed as a family with a great family and a great (team) like the Orlando Magic. When you’re given that, being good stewards of that certainly means giving back to the community and using that to drive the community forward for the betterment of everybody. It has been incredibly important in our family and remains incredibly important to each and every one of us.”

With a giving pledge like “30 grants for 30 years” set in motion, the Central Florida community will certainly get a great assist towards its continued development over the next two years and beyond.

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