*The Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo was named winner of the 2015-2016 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award (CEA) at the 26th Annual Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) Black Tie & Tennies Gala held at the Amway Center. This marks the second time Oladipo has won the award. The other finalist for the award was Magic guard Elfrid Payton.
Oladipo took the stage with a quiet humility, “If you had told me I would be here a couple of years ago, I would have thought you were lying. Giving back is what I do, I just love it. I really want to influence someone’s life.”
Each year at the Gala, the OMYF honors a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing other’s lives.
A panel of representatives selects the player. In addition to receiving the award, Oladipo will be granted $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to donate to the charity of his choice.
Oladipo 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 and implementing his own, Oladipo has assisted the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and the NBA in their community goals as well.
Highlights of Oladipo’s community involvement for the 2015-16 season:
- Participated in the Share the Magic Ticket program by providing tickets for underprivileged youth to attend Magic games.
- Over the holidays, surprised one local family in need with a KIA car.
- Sponsored a holiday party for 20 hearing-impaired children at the UCF Listening Center. The youth enjoyed arts/crafts, face painting, karaoke and each child was given a toy and the parents were given $50 gift cards.
- Visited children at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf in his hometown of Washington, D.C. over the summer.
- Took part in the Hoops for Hunger Love Pantry celebration with Rosemont Elementary.
- Participated in the Magic FIT Chef Cook Off event to promote to youth the principals of the Magic FIT program of eating healthy and staying active.
- Participated with service men, women and their families in the Hoops for Troops service project.
- Served breakfast at the Coalition for the Homeless on Thanksgiving morning.
- Surprised YMCA youth at a Magic holiday basketball camp.
- Greets terminally-ill children before games in support of the Magic Maker program.
- Named the NBA’s Community Assist Award winner for the month of December for his efforts in the community.
Past winners of the award include Nick Anderson (1995-1996), Penny Hardaway (1996-1997), Darrell Armstrong (1997-1998, 1999-2000), Grant Hill (2000-2001), Monty Williams (2001-2002), Tracy McGrady (2002-2003), Pat Garrity (2003-2004), Bo Outlaw (1998-1999, 2005-2006, 2006-2007), Dwight Howard (2004-05, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12), J.J. Redick (2011-12), Jameer Nelson (2012-13), Tobias Harris (2013-14; 2014-15, co-winner with Oladipo) and Victor Oladipo (2014-15, co-winner with Harris; 2015-16).
Earlier this year, the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a McCormick Foundation Fund (OMYF-MFF), presented checks totaling $1,000,000 to 18 grantee organizations.
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