ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic's signature fundraising event, the Orlando Wine Festival & Auction held on March 19 at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, raised nearly $700,000 for the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF), benefiting at-risk children in Central Florida. The fundraising extravaganza that endured a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, included live and e-auctions, as well as an outdoor festival, featuring live music, local and celebrity chefs, wineries, and food pavilions.
“After the break that we unfortunately had that obviously impacted so many people in a negative way, it’s great to get back together and look at the future,” said Orlando Magic Chairman Dan DeVos at the event. “This is a major event for us. There are so many needs out there. This is our big fundraiser of the year. This creates really the foundation that we build everything else on. We're so grateful for all of the support we've received and know the impact that will have on the youth of this community.”
In addition to the OMYF’s fundraising efforts, the DeVos Family Foundation is donating a total of $3 million to 30 area nonprofit organizations as part of the DeVos family’s 30 Grants for 30 Years Initiative, which aims to invest in people and projects impacting youth, essential needs for families, and community enrichment across Central Florida.
Each of the 400 guests at Orlando Wine Festival & Auction also received an invitation to the OMYF Grant Ceremony on April 10, where all funds from this event and other OMYF fundraising opportunities will be distributed to the local nonprofit organizations that help at-risk youth in Central Florida.
“We are becoming a bigger city. We are becoming a lot more philanthropic because of that,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “It’s great for our at-risk children’s organizations because there is a lot of need in Central Florida. Now, you are starting to see philanthropy grow in Central Florida, which is great and I think it only bodes well for helping the children in Central Florida and helping the organizations that really are making these kids better and preparing them for a better life.”
Each year, the Magic gives more than $2 million to Central Florida by way of sponsorships of events, donated tickets, autographed merchandise, and grants. At the heart of the Magic’s charitable efforts is the work done by the OMYF, which 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 education, housing/homelessness, the arts and health programs focused on preventing childhood obesity.
Over the last 31 years, more than $26 million has been distributed to local nonprofit community organizations through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation. The DeVos family’s investment in the OMYF covers all administrative costs which allows for 100 percent of all donations to go directly to the foundation to benefit children and families in need throughout Central Florida each year. The OMYF raises community dollars annually through donations, auctions and events such as the OMYF Open Golf Tournament and its signature fundraiser, the Orlando Wine Festival and Auction.
In March and June 2021, the OMYF presented checks totaling $1 million to 18 grantee organizations, with $300k in collaborative grants distributed in March and $700k in grants distributed in June, marking the 13th time the OMYF has distributed $1 million to the Central Florida community since OMYF's inception in 1990.
The OMYF's ability to reach such a milestone in 2021 was once in doubt. Due to the pandemic, OMYF was unable to hold fundraising events over the past year that traditionally helped to add to the total available for giving. To make up for that shortfall, Magic ownership – the DeVos family – provided $700,000 for 2021 grant-making activity.