Orlando Magic superstar center Dwight Howard will kick off a special celebration dedicated to Orlando’s youth and community organizations with D12 Foundation Day on Tuesday (Feb. 14) at 10 a.m.
The event will be held at Orlando’s Downtown Recreation Center, the home of the Parramore Kidz Zone. Bringing together numerous local partners in honor of the continued service and commitment they share with him in enriching the Orlando community and its youth, Howard will mark the D12 Foundation’s one-year anniversary. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will be on hand to proclaim Tuesday as “D12 Foundation Day from the City of Orlando.’’ Dwight will then participate in fun-filled festivities for more than 300 kids and guests.
A five-time winner of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation’s Rich & Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award for his charitable efforts in the Central Florida community, Howard launched the D12 Foundation a year ago on February 14, 2011, to support programs that empower today’s youth locally and globally, and enhance their development in areas integral to their futures including education, childhood hunger, service and character development, leadership and health.
Over the past year, Howard and the D12 Foundation have supported a range of organizations and local projects, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, US Dream Academy, Florida Hospital for Children, Special Olympics of Central Florida, Beta Center, St. Jude’s Hospital, Blessings in a Backpack, Parramore Kidz Zone, Boys & Girls Clubs and more.
Dedicated to serving others is one of his biggest passions off the court, Howard has been hands-on with the D12 Foundation in his ongoing pursuit to aid and build the present and future of Orlando together with local partners. Celebrating these groups for their continuing legacy of service and leadership impacting Orlando’s youth, education, health and well-being, Howard says of D12 Foundation Day, “I love having this opportunity to give back and celebrate the kids and community partners. We need to continue to be an inspiration for a bright future for the youth of Orlando and beyond.’’
On the court, Dwight recently became the leading vote-getter among all NBA players for the Feb. 26 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. Dwight, a six-time all-star and a starter for a fifth straight season, received a whopping 1.6 million votes from fans. Dwight has been a first-team All-NBA selection each of the past four seasons and he’s the only player in league history to win the Defensive Player of the Year award three straight years.