Disney donates more than $1.2 million to Central Florida Children.

For the last two weeks, the Walt Disney World resort sent prize patrols across Central Florida to give more than $1.2 million in Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants to 57 charities and recognize 15 outstanding students in the five-county area as Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars for their civic-minded efforts. This really demonstrates Disney’s commitment to building better futures for local children.

“Walt Disney World Resort is always looking to invest in community partners that help children thrive,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “It has been such an honor and incredibly rewarding to make dreams come true for some very deserving non-profits that are improving Central Florida by inspiring our youth.”

Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants financially support non-profits that demonstrate the strongest alignment with Disney’s goal of improving children’s lives by focusing on one or more of following areas: connecting with adults, character development, constructive use of free time and compassion. Details on all 57 Disney Helping Kids Shine recipients, along with prize patrol reports and pictures are available at www.shineontoday.com.

Spotlight Shines On Top Disney Grants Recipients

Disney prize patrols started their charitable giving on May 17 at Delaney Park in Orlando with special recognition for four organizations that have impressive track records in improving in children’s lives. Representatives from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, A Gift for Music, Coalition for the Homeless and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida were invited to a surprise presentation, where they learned they will receive comprehensive support from Walt Disney World Resort and a combined total of $300,000 to aid their efforts.

“We are humbled and tremendously grateful to Walt Disney World Resort for selecting Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida as one of their fortunate grant beneficiaries,” said Gary Cain, president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, who noted the gift will help his organization serve more than 12,000 local children. “We are proud to work alongside a generous and community-minded partner such as Disney and thank them for helping us to continue providing life-changing youth development programs to children in need across Central Florida.”

On May 19, Hope CommUnity Center received the top application-based Disney Helping Kids Shine Grant – the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award. Mickey Mouse, along with members of the Allen family and the prize patrol, awarded $45,000 to the non-profit’s youth empowerment program.

Disney Supports Education in Central Florida

Mickey Mouse and prize patrol pals also visited school districts across Central Florida to hand deliver Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants. Public school districts and early learning coalitions in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties received a combined total of $290,000 in Disney Grants to enhance student performance from preschool through 12th grade.

“This is a tremendous support,” says Barbara Jenkins, chief of staff for Orange County Public Schools. “We can lead our children to success but we can’t do it alone.”

Disney Dreamers & Doers Recognizes 15 Shining Stars

Disney prize patrols visited schools in the five-county area to recognize 15 outstanding students as Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars for their achievements in academics and community service. A panel comprised of community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members selected Shining Stars from nearly 400 local students nominated as Disney Dreamers & Doers by elementary, middle and high schools throughout Central Florida.

Receiving 2010 Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars recognition:

Orange County

  • Cardinal Hastings, Lake George Elementary
  • Jack Lavery, Glenridge Middle School
  • Corinthia Alford, Jones High School

Osceola County

  • Shelby Terrian, Michigan Avenue Elementary
  • Angel Custodio, St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Trenton Livingston, St. Cloud High School

Lake County

  • Meagan Dickson, Cypress Ridge Elementary (Meagan is a second-time recipient)
  • Ahjay Bhatia, Lake Montessori School
  • Molly Howell, Eustis High School

Polk County

  • Alyssa Blythe, All Saints’ Academy
  • Devin Johnson-Gray, Crystal Lake Middle School
  • Katy Millican, Lake Gibson High School

Seminole County

  • Isabelle Hadala, Altamonte Elementary School
  • Elyse Morgan, Milwee Middle School
  • Michelle Laborde, Hagerty High School

All Disney Dreamers & Doers receive four theme park tickets, a certificate and a special pin. Shining Stars receive a Mickey Mouse statue and Walt Disney World annual passes for themselves and their immediate families.

Since 1983, more than 11,500 Central Floridians have been recognized as Disney Dreamers & Doers.

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