Dwight Howard Named Winner of 2009-10 Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award


Here’s the official word from the Magic:

"DWIGHT HOWARD NAMED WINNER OF 2009-10 RICH & HELEN DeVOS COMMUNITY ENRICHMENT AWARDFOR FOURTH TIME**Through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, nearly $700,000 was distributed to 23 Central Florida organizations**Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard was named the 2009-2010 winner of the Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award Saturday night at the 20th Annual OMYF Black Tie & Tennies Charity Gala Presented Bright House Networks held at the J.W. Marriott Grande Lakes.  This marks the fourth time and third consecutive year Howard has won the award (2004-05, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10).Each year at the Gala, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (OMYF) honors a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing others’ lives.  An anonymous panel of external representatives selects the player.  In addition to receiving the award, the player is granted $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to donate to the charity of his choice.Howard has consistently volunteered his time off the court and to the Central Florida community supporting the initiatives of the Magic’s community relations department, the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, a fund of the McCormick Foundation and the NBA.  Highlights of his community involvement for the 2009-10 season include:∙         Donated $30,000 to Florida Hospital for Children to help bring advancements to the children’s hospital through the Dwight Howard’s Big Change for Kids program.∙         Donated $25,000 for a learning center at BETA, which provides middle and high school academic training to teen moms through Orange County Public Schools’ Alternative Education Program.∙         Participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in South Africa.  The program focuses on education, grassroots basketball development and HIV/AIDS education and advocacy.∙         Assisted building a playground as part of the Magic’s annual KaBoom! playground build for the Oak Street Park Community Center.∙         Donated $25,000 to “Blessings in a Backpack” to provide children from Lake Como Elementary with a nutritious meal on the weekends.∙         Provided the opportunity for 100 children each game a chance to see the Magic play through his ticket program.∙         Donated gifts and met with families for the Magic holiday party with underprivileged children and their families.∙         Attended the “Buddy Jam 2010” with Mayor Buddy Dyer to help raise funds for the Parramore Kidz Zone program.∙         Participated in two internal autograph sessions, which helps support Central Florida non-profit organizations by raising money through silent auctions.∙         While in Dallas for All-Star weekend 2010 participated in a KaBoom! playground build as part of NBA Cares service projects.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) and Bo Outlaw (1998-1999, 2005-2006, 2006-2007).The funds raised this year by the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation and matched by the McCormick Foundation were distributed to the community through the Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a fund of the McCormick Foundation in grants totaling $689,000.  On January 6, checks to 23 grantee organizations from three different counties (Orange, Seminole and Osceola) were presented at halftime of the Magic vs. Raptors game.The beneficiaries were recommended by the OMYF “VIP” Committee and then approved by the McCormick Foundation’s Board of Directors after an extensive five-phase process which began in July of 2009.The Orlando Magic Youth Fund, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, focuses on helping children in Central Florida realize their full potential, especially those most at risk, by supporting programs and partnerships that empower families and change lives.OMYF, founded in 1988, became a fund of the McCormick Foundation in 1994.  OMYF is supported through a team effort by Magic players, coaches, staff and the DeVos Family, in partnership with season ticket holders, corporate partners, fans and the community and matching funds provided by the McCormick Foundation.  Since inception, nearly $154 million has been granted through OMYF to local nonprofit organizations.For more information on the OMYF, log on to www.orlandomagic.com."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and a contributor at NFL Mocks Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Twitter to follow him daily and you can get the HTD app here).