The Magic's owners might be in some hot water thanks to a political boycott, but it is important to remember that the Magic are independent of their officers and owners and do a lot of amazing work in the community and for the city of Orlando -- and really all of Central Florida.
The Orlando Sentinel named the Magic one of the top 100 companies for working families Friday, a reminder of all the good the Magic do for the city. The Sentinel recognizes 100 companies that that strive to make a difference in the lives of families. The Magic received the Community Service Champion Award at the award luncheon Friday.
"The Magic is thrilled and honored to receive recognition in both areas," said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins in a press release. "Our ownership group, the DeVos family, has always encouraged our staff to volunteer, even during work hours. It is through that encouragement that the Magic Volunteer Program (MVP) was born. It is because of the DeVos’ commitment to both family and the community that our culture has endured. This award is a testament to them and their values."
The Magic's MVP program encourages Magic employees to give their time to the Orlando community. Through the program, Magic employees have given more than 30,000 hours in community service since the program's inception in 2006.
This is very much in line with what the Magic as an organization is about. Annually, the Magic donate more than $2 million to the Orlando community through the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation.
Whatever your opinion of the DeVos' stand on the gay marriage issue or how you feel about the call for the boycott, there is no questioning that the DeVos' have encouraged Magic employees -- from the players to the regular staff -- to give their time and make an impact in the Orlando community. This one little issue is not all of who they are. Like I said on The Beat of Sports on Monday, the point of the boycott may be to bring the debate more out into the open and get it on people's minds so they think about things before making a purchase.
Like Chick-Fil-A, the DeVos family does a lot of good despite a controversial stance on this one issue.
As always, it is up to individuals to make their own purchasing decisions. And it should be remembered that the Magic re-iterated Amway's statement in regards to the boycott that the decisions of their corporate officers and what causes they choose to support are their own and do not reflect the opinions or views of Amway or the Orlando Magic. Here is there response to the boycott once again:
"As private citizens, the DeVos family supports causes and organizations that advocate for policies aligned to their personal beliefs. Both families believe one of the highest callings of any individual is to express their own personal beliefs as a participant in the democratic process.
"In this instance, a private gift from the personal foundation of Amway's president -- The Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation -- was made to the National Organization for Marriage in 2009.
"Amway, a global corporation with more than $10 billion in sales and operating in more than 80 countries and territories, supports policies that create favorable conditions for global businesses. Our employees and distributors come from all walks of life and represent an incredibly diverse set of backgrounds. The Amway opportunity is open to everyone."
Again, the Magic are extremely active in the Orlando community and do a lot of good and that should not be forgotten. The next community event will be Tuesday with Glen Davis visiting the Parramore Kids Zone for a Back to School Bash. It should be a really good event, and one of countless similar community outreach progams throughout the year.
This award is absolutely deserved and a great reminder of how good the Magic are for Orlando.