Over 500 Central Florida business, government and community leaders helped Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida pay tribute to the Orlando Magic at its 4th Annual Celebration, An Evening with the Men in Blue, on Thursday, January 21, 2010. The event recognized the team and owner Rich DeVos for their extraordinary contributions to the community and the Coalition over the years, and raised nearly $66,000 for programs to return homeless men, women and families with children to independence.
Presented by Baker Hostetler LLP, the evening featured an awards presentation and sumptuous reception, hosted by NBA City Restaurant. The reception was followed by an exclusive performance by world renowned Blue Man Group, who donated their talents, at their Sharp Aquos Theatre home stage. Other major sponsors included Universal Orlando, Harriett Lake, Orlando Health, Bank of America, Hilton Grand Vacations, and the Orlando Magic.
Emphasizing the team's commitment to the Coalition, Orlando Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins introduced player Adonal Foyle and Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw as examples of Magic staff who have willingly devoted much of their time to community service.
As a surprise honoree at the event, Jean Worrall received the Coalition's 2009 "Heart for the Homeless Award" for her longstanding passion and dedication to addressing the needs of homeless men, in particular those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, etc. Ms. Worrall was the Coalition's first employee in 1987, started its CHAIR substance abuse recovery program (now called First Steps) in 1999, and continues to be a staunch advocate for those in need. To illustrate the impact of the First Steps Program, Mr. Trotter recognized a former client who was helped to move from a heroin-centered, homeless existence into his current life of family, purpose and independence.
The evening culminated with an exclusive performance by Blue Man Group. The audience was delighted when the Blue Men led Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw on-stage to participate in a lively segment and proceeded to paint a smocked and helmeted Brent Trotter a royal shade of blue.