ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic continue to align themselves with partners, who not only make an impact in their respective fields but also are champions in the local community.
The Magic carried on that tradition on Wednesday when they announced a new, multi-year partnership with Florida Technical College (FTC) to become the Official Technical College of the Orlando Magic.
As part of the partnership, the two will join community efforts to assist food-insecure families in Central Florida by teaming up with Magic forward Jonathan Isaac and Project Life.
“The Orlando Magic and Florida Technical College have a shared commitment to both education and the Central Florida community,” said Magic President of Business Operations Charles Freeman. “We welcome FTC to our partnership family and look forward to working with them as they join us in the fight against hunger.”
The Magic, Isaac, and FTC’s hunger-relief efforts through Project Life include providing resources along with hot meals to areas of the Orlando community most profoundly affected by the coronavirus.
“(Project Life) has been feeding families and young kids throughout this coronavirus (pandemic),” Isaac said. “They’ve been doing a fantastic job. To this point, it’s been about 25,000 meals fed to kids in the community.”
Florida Technical College students will prepare meals that will be donated to Project Life. The students and FTC staff will also assist in the distribution of those meals to the community.
“I’m especially pleased to be able to partner with the ‘Minister of Defense,’ Jonathan Isaac, with Project Life and J.U.M.P. Ministries,” said James Michael Burkett, President of Florida Technical College.
Isaac, a former Rich, and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment award winner is a sponsor of Project Life’s COVID-19 Ready, Set, Feed program (ProjectLifeNow.org), which provides free meals daily to families in need. In addition to providing necessary supplies, Isaac assists in handing out the food and other items to families.
“We’re going to stay vigilant in our community to make sure everybody gets through this together,” Isaac said.
Additional partnership elements include a job shadow program with the Magic, providing students the opportunity to learn from the Magic’s “team behind the team.”
The students will gain additional insights and first-hand knowledge from Magic staff members in the areas of health and wellness, culinary arts, hospitality, and business operations. Florida Technical College and the Magic will also work together to recognize students that excel in their programs during games next season.
“We know that one of the most significant ways we can contribute to the success and advancement of our communities is by working alongside organizations with a deep passion to serve. In the Orlando Magic, we found an extraordinary partner that shares our mission and commitment to transform communities across Central Florida,” said Burkett. “The partnership enhances the educational experience of our students while fostering a strong culture of giving. At FTC we take great pride in creating well-rounded professionals, which is critical to achieving career success.”
FTC offers associate and bachelor’s degrees and diploma programs in a range of professions including healthcare, construction trades, computer networking, culinary arts, and cosmetology. Campuses are located in seven cities across Central and South Florida.
The Magic and the DeVos family have also continued to display their commitment to the Central Florida community. The Magic, players, coaches, and its teams are focused on joining together to help those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. The efforts include:
- Magic players and the teams’ ownership group, the DeVos family, pledging $2 million towards a compensation fund for Orlando Magic, Amway Center, Lakeland Magic, and Orlando Solar Bears hourly workers for games and time missed during the COVID-19 suspension of seasons. Magic players Nikola Vucevic and Mo Bamba also contributed to the fund.
- As mentioned, Isaac invested in a program with his local church, J.U.M.P Ministries, to feed children under the age of 18. His www.ProjectLifeNow.org effort will continue through the pandemic’s duration. His teammate Wes Iwundu also contributed to the cause.
- Magic forward Aaron Gordon provided funding to Orange County Public School’s Homeless Student Fund, www.foundationforocps.org, and made a donation to My New Red Shoes in his hometown, the Bay area of California. My New Red Shoes, www.mynewredshoes.org, provides well-fitted shoes and clean clothing to children in need.
- Magic guard D.J. Augustin donated to Krewe of Red Beans, www.redbeansparade.com, in his hometown of New Orleans, which offers food to frontline healthcare workers.
- The Magic’s NBA 2K League team, Magic Gaming, held a virtual fundraiser with its players, local social influencers, Bamba and Magic Community Ambassador Bo Outlaw to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
- Magic broadcasters hosted a virtual fundraiser to assist food insecurities in Central Florida. The online drive raised funds for the Christian Service Center and Second Harvest Food Bank.
- The Orlando Magic, AdventHealth, and the City of Orlando partnered for the use of the Amway Center to be used as a medical equipment and supply hub.
- Magic Head Coach Steve Clifford donated to the Heart of Florida United Way for their fund to support Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted by the Coronavirus.
- The Magic and its partners have teamed up to launch a COVID-19 resource site, www.nba.com/magic/covid-19-together. The site provides information on health and wellness, community causes, fundraisers, entertainment options, and the latest Magic news.
- The Magic are joining the National Basketball Association and Fanatics to sell Magic-branded cloth face coverings with all proceeds benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. For mask orders, please visit www.OrlandoMagicShop.com.
- The Magic teamed up with locally-owned and operated Papa John’s to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida with Magic owners, the DeVos family, donating $50,000 to the food bank and Papa John’s donating 25 percent of each online order they received when using the promo code MAGICGIVE at PapaJohns.com.
- Magic CEO Alex Martins was named to the Orange County (Orlando, Fla.) Economic Recovery Task Force.
- Bamba and Gordon joined the #AllinChallenge to help eliminate food insecurity.