Orlando Magic Hosts 25th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration at Coalition
ORLANDO, Fla. (Thursday, November 23) – This morning, the Orlando Magic continued their annual tradition of serving Thanksgiving breakfast and hosting a carnival for individuals and families experiencing homelessness at the Coalition. Nearly 120 Magic staff members were in attendance including Magic COO Charlie Freeman and Magic Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw.
Immediately following the breakfast, the Magic hosted a special carnival for children at the Coalition’s campus. Festivities included guest appearances by the Magic Dancers and the Magic Blue Crew; the Beat 104.5, games, face painting and balloon art. In addition, adults and children were treated to haircuts by Paul Mitchell The School.
“For 25 years, the Magic has provided Thanksgiving breakfast and we are grateful for their dedication to serve Central Florida’s homeless.” said John Hearn, President/CEO of the Coalition. “It’s truly amazing to have so many volunteers give back year after year.”
Although the Magic players and the coaching staff were away on a four game road trip, they still made a significant impact with head Coach Frank Vogel sponsoring the breakfast for the more than 700 men, women and children in attendance.
“This has become part of our organizational Thanksgiving,” Magic CEO Alex Martins explained. “To be able to go to the Coalition for the Homeless every Thanksgiving morning and be able to serve breakfast to those who are homeless and don’t have the opportunity to have a good Thanksgiving meal at their own home, it means a lot to us.”
“We’re so blessed with the DeVos family and they Magic organization to be able to come here and do something small on Thanksgiving,” Magic COO Charlie Freeman said. “It’s a big need in our community and we’re just blessed to be able to be here – 25 years is amazing and they do a great job here.”
In 1993 Shaquille O’Neal and his teammates served the first Thanksgiving breakfast at the former Men’s Pavilion. Ever since then, players and coaches have been sponsoring and serving meals at the Coalition as part of the NBA Season of Giving.
About Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida
For over 30 years, Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida has transformed the lives of homeless men, women and children by providing crucial services to end their crisis of homelessness. Each night, the Coalition serves nearly 500 individuals, including 140 children. Over the past three years, 2,772 men, women, and children have moved from one of our programs into permanent housing.