Rich DeVos Rumors
From the time that they bought the Magic in September of 1991, Rich and Helen DeVos always promised that the Magic’s role in the Central Florida community would be about helping those in need as much as it would be winning basketball games. Before their deaths in the past two years, Rich and Helen gave millions to charities throughout the United States to try and help individuals and children most in need. That lasting legacy lived on Friday when the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) distributed $1.2 million in grants to 16 non-profit organizations in the Central Florida area. OMYF has now distributed more than $24 million to approximately 500 need-based organizations in Central Florida over nearly three decades.
Gary Cain, President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, said so many agencies in the Central Florida area wouldn’t be able to help others without the philanthropic nature of the Magic. Cain said the Magic have always been leaders in helping those in need and helping Central Florida become a better place to live. “The Magic have always been invested in this community and we’re so blessed to have the ownership and the team here,’’ said Cain, whose organization received a $30,000 grant. “They have given very significant gifts to us for a number of years and have been very transformative. “Without the Magic, our community wouldn’t be as strong and wouldn’t be as good,’’ Cain added. “They bring people together and they share values for the community. I just can’t say enough good things about the Magic, from their ownership to the leadership and on down to everybody in the organization.’’
Before their deaths in the past two years, Rich and Helen DeVos gave millions to charities throughout the United States to try and help individuals and children most in need. That lasting legacy lived on Friday when the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) distributed $1.2 million in grants to 16 non-profit organizations in the Central Florida area. OMYF has now distributed more than $24 million to approximately 500 need-based organizations in Central Florida over nearly three decades.
ORLANDOMAGIC.COM: You got to know Mr. DeVos quite well during your first stint with the Magic and you briefly met with him again before you took the job this time around. What are some of your fondest memories of your interactions with him? STEVE CLIFFORD: “It was a very difficult day when we lost him. As much as anything, like most of us, I was always a big fan of his. More than anything, it was always about how supportive he was for the team. I’ve read all of his books and I loved his message of perseverance, discipline in life and positivity is one I’ll always remember. “Two things I’ll always remember about Mr. DeVos was how much we’d always enjoy him stopping in before the games and saying `hi’ and something positive to everyone. Then, every year before the season, we’d fly down to West Palm to visit with him and he’d sit everybody down and give us a message that our players and staff all enjoyed.’’
Baumann: One of the great things about Rich DeVos was his work in the community. This (youth camp) is just another fruit of his labor as well, right Aaron? What can you say about the passing of Rich DeVos this week? Aaron Gordon: It’s sad man. It’s a huge hit to this organization. He was always super encouraging. Always proud of us. He was one of my biggest fans. He had plenty of advice to share with the team. Plenty of antidotes. Hopefully we can get something going for him.
Just as they had done numerous times before, past and present NBA players such as Shaquille O’Neal, Jameer Nelson and others, reached out to Magic CEO Alex Martins concerning Mr. DeVos. On Thursday, several contacted Martins and Magic leaders to pass along their condolences and fond memories about a man they considered to be, “the best owner in the NBA.’’ “You’d be amazed at how many players and former players I’ve already heard from today, including Shaq and Jameer and several others,’’ said Martins after announcing that DeVos – the Magic’s owner since 1991 – had died at his home in Ada, Mich.