Orlando Magic help out with Positive Sprouts

Sep 20, 2010

There were mixed emotions at our last garden event of the year – at the Universal Foundation Boys & Girls Club in Orlando.

The event was exciting, with lots of Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) and employees involved, many Club members and staff excited about their garden, Master gardeners from the Green Education Foundation and local extension programs … and special guests from the Orlando Magic!

But is this really our last garden of the year?

It’s easy to think that the event is the most important thing, but really, it is just the beginning. IBOs around the country  now have “adopted” local Clubs. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America now have a gardening model with a corresponding educational curriculum that can be scaled up in any of their 4,000 Clubs. Lifestyles will now be affected for the better, with a new interest in fresh fruits and vegetables and access to organic produce grown right at the Clubs.

More than 70 people participated in the Orlando build on Saturday. Kids planted four gardens: Herb, Southern, Salsa and Pizza themes. The volunteers also planted a butterfly garden. Some plantings were only seeds, others were plants just sprouting little buds. They painted signs to identify the plants, and made their own seeded pots to take home.

Volunteers helped in the garden, and also transformed the surrounding area. They stained benches and planters, added soil and new flowers and bushes, built a tool shed and disassembled old broken picnic tables.

Since Amway is partnering with the Orlando Magic on the new Amway Center stadium, we called our friends at the Magic offices to invite staff and players to participate. They were there along with us, laughing and getting dirty while the outdoor area received a facelift.

We had guest appearances by current and former NBA stars: Daniel Orton, Bo Outlaw and Nick Anderson from the Magic as part of the NBA Cares program. They jumped right in too, allowing the kids to teach them what they had learned, and doing a little gardening and painting of their own.

We are already looking ahead at hosting Harvest Parties at the seven Positive Sprouts clubs in November. And plans are underway for more gardens and process improvements for 2012.

But for now, we can take a look back with excitement about what has been created with lots of hands, big and small, and the seeds of more to come!

Below are some pictures from the event, and you can watch a video on the Orlando Magic website.

You can see more pictures at our Flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/35587570@N07/sets/72157624872420641

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