It has been an up and down first month of the season for the Orlando Magic on the court, but on Thursday, members of the team proved that there are much more important things than basketball.
Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn, CEO Alex Martins, and players Jameer Nelson, Moe Harkless, and Glen Davis made it 20 years in a row that Orlando has helped serve Thanksgiving breakfast and conduct a kids’ carnival at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. This year, more than 800 people ate breakfast, played games, and took pictures with members of the Magic.
“It makes you appreciate what you have. It’s a day of Thanksgiving and it makes you thankful for the opportunities that you have, the friends, family and relationships that you have and it’s just a great day to reflect upon that,” said Vaughn. “Giving back is extremely important to me. This is a commitment that was stressed to me (upon taking the job) and it’s a commitment that I want to be a part of. It’s great to say that you are helping someone and doing it in a positive way.”
Magic guard J.J. Redick was also active in the community during Thanksgiving week, as he, wife Chelsea, Magic Dancers, and Magic staff gave out whole turkeys, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, and pumpkin pie to needy families at the Rosemont Community Center on Tuesday.
“The Orlando community has been so great to Chelsea and I,” Redick said. “We cherish this opportunity to give back.”
Thanks to the Redicks, more than 200 families in the Rosemont district of Orlando enjoyed a meal they otherwise would not have.
“There are so many emotions around the holidays and for us providing a meal, smiles and a overall feeling of warmth is most important,” Redick added. “I’m a grateful person for the blessings I have in my life and I know there’s a responsibility in turn to give back those blessings to other people and express love. If anything, I’m thanking them for letting me do this.”
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