Believe it or not, we are less than one month away from the first Magic preseason game. Orlando will open training camp on October 1 and open the preseason in Mexico City against New Orleans on October 7. So how will we get ready? By counting down to the beginning of the season on November 2 against Denver. Let's continue:
J.J. Redick and Dwight Howard won the Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award last season for their tireless work in the community. Along with that reward comes a $50,000 check to donate to a charity of the recipient's choosing.
Redick distributed half of that amount this week, donating $25,000 to Orlando's Russell Home for Atypical Children through the recently established J.J. Redick Foundation. The Russell Home provides a home for children and families of severely handicapped children. You can learn more about the Russell Home and the wonderful work they do at their Web site: http://www.russellhome.org/ .
"Within five minutes of being here we knew this is where we wanted to give our money because it’s an incredible place with wonderful people," Redick told John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com. "It's very gratifying to give this money to them and hopefully we'll get them along their way toward building a new home. We wanted to do something that helped kids. Obviously some of the people who live here are adults, but they are kids at heart. Everything seemed like this was a great place and once we spent a couple of hours here we saw the amazing things they do here."
Redick's work in the community is pretty well documented and his award at least year's Black Tie and Tennies Charity Gala was very well deserved. Redick established the J.J. Redick Foundation in 2011 to serve underprivileged youth both in Orlando and in Redick's hometown in Virginia.
Redick's work is not done though. He still has $25,000 to contribute as part of his Community Enrichment Award. And he has not quite decided what to do with it:
"We still have $25,000 to give away and Chelsea and I thought it would be neat as a way to have active participants in giving if we had a contest to give that money away," Redick said. "We’re going to ask people to send in videos and essays of non-profits who have had an impact on their lives and there will be a check presentation. It will be a cool way in bringing it full circle and involving the community."
The details for this competition are still to be determined — I will be sure to pass them along once I hear about them. Begin thinking of a deserving charity though and you could not only help J.J. but also a very deserving cause.