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Disney donates $4.5 Million to Benefit Community Groups

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Monday was a big day in Central Florida when representatives of 102 local community focused groups took center stage at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Walt Disney World awarded more than $4.5 million in Disney Grants. These gifts will enable the organizations to play an even stronger supporting role for more than 250,000 Central Florida children and their families.

Through the support provided by Disney’s signature giving program, the grants will help local organizations build children’s character, encourage creativity and promote economic development throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties. This year’s grant recipients offer an array of programs, including learning and reading camps, arts enrichment and furniture and clothes for families in need.

“Disney Grant recipients work tirelessly to build a better future for Central Florida and share Disney’s values of investing in children and families,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World. “For more than 43 years, we’ve joined with other local organizations to strengthen our community because we believe we’re better together.”
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In 2014 Walt Disney World donated more to Central Florida Community than ever before

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With nearly 75,000 Cast Members who call Central Florida home, the Walt Disney World Resort has a significant stake in the success of Central Florida as a community. As such they’re committed to making a difference in the community. In 2014, that commitment added up to a record $37.9 million in Disney’s cash and in-kind donations aimed at strengthening local children and families.

“Here at Walt Disney World Resort, our Cast Members are honored to give back to the community in a variety of ways – from supporting our schools to grants for local nonprofits to the countless hours our VoluntEARS devote to the causes close to their hearts,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort.

The list of support Disney provides is long. Below are just a few examples:
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Walt Disney World Delivers Holiday Smiles to Thousands of Children via Toys for Tots

Christmas is the season of giving and Walt Disney World’s cast members really know how to give. This holiday season they’ve already donated 36,000 new toys helping nearly 30,000 children through the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. Disney VoluntEARS recently transformed… Read More »Walt Disney World Delivers Holiday Smiles to Thousands of Children via Toys for Tots

Disney Supports Training for Central Florida Vocational Schools

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The fine folks at the Walt Disney World Resort knows that if they wants to hire qualified candidates to fill the resorts open trade skills positions (many of which are vital for building and maintaining it’s attractions), they’ll need to make sure local students receive the training they need to get started in a well-rounded trade skill position. That probably explains why Disney recently donated ten welding machines to several Central Florida vocational schools.

The donated equipment will help school districts in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole and Polk counties advance the technical ability of vocational students who are currently pursuing certification in trade skills such as plumbing, electrical, masonry and carpentry, among others. Westside Tech School, Lake Tech, Lyman High School, Ridge Career and Travis Career Centers, and Technical Education Center Osceola received the equipment.

“Before we received this donation, we could only teach welding to the students in the welding program”, said Rob Moody, building construction technology instructor at Westside Tech School in Orange County. “Now we are providing welding training to students who are pursuing certifications in other trades as well. The more skills they have, the better chances they have of getting a job.”Read More »Disney Supports Training for Central Florida Vocational Schools

Disney’s Dreamers & Doers Highlights 15 Student Shining Stars

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The school year is wrapping up and it’s time for Disney’s 31st annual salute to Central Florida’s youngest humanitarians and community service leaders. This year Walt Disney World Resort recognized 15 local students with exceptional achievements, naming them Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars.

Making a difference through their kindness and hard work, Disney Dreamers & Doers consistently demonstrate outstanding character and lead by example. Students selected for the Shining Star distinction include a second grader who befriends and assists disabled students, an eighth grader who created a documentary promoting South African girls’ education and a high school senior whose guidance in fitness and nutrition helped a friend lose more than 100 pounds.

“Here at Walt Disney World Resort, we continue to be impressed by our community’s youngest citizens and are inspired by the positive impact they have on Central Florida,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. “Through compassion, vision and hard work, these dedicated students act on their dreams of changing the world.”

Approximately 400 students were chosen by their schools for this distinguished award. From all the 2014 Disney Dreamers & Doers named, a panel of judges selected the 15 Shining Stars from elementary, middle and high schools in Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Seminole counties. In its 31st year, the Disney Dreamers & Doers program has recognized nearly 13,000 students since the program began.

“We’re proud of all of our students at Lawton Chiles Middle School, but it’s especially gratifying to count a Disney Dreamer & Doer Shining Star among our Panthers,” said Dr. Margaret Gunderson, principal of Lawton Chiles Middle School in Seminole County. “This honor exemplifies our school’s community spirit and commitment to excellence.”

Disney Dreamers & Doers Shining Stars receive a Mickey Mouse statue known as a “Mousecar,” a gold medallion and annual theme park passes for themselves and their immediate family.

Join us below the jump for a list of the shining stars and their inspiring accomplishments:
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Disney Contributes $3 Million to Child Emergency Care at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando

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For all the craziness that goes on in the parks sometimes, it’s important to remember that Walt Disney World is part of the Central Florida community. As such it has made great contributions to many non-profits in the area, but the one that moves me the most was the amazing job the company did at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. They’re not stopping with the Walt Disney wing either, The Walt Disney Company just presented a $3 million gift to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to help fulfill a critical need in the treatment of young patients at the hospital’s Bert Martin’s Champions for Children Emergency Department & Trauma Center.

The gift will enable the purchase and installation of a new 3T MRI machine that will serve as a critical first step in the treatment of children in need of emergency and trauma care in addition to supporting other key pediatric programs at Arnold Palmer Hospital.

“Our friends at The Walt Disney Company have been great partners to Arnold Palmer Hospital since the day we opened our doors almost 25 years ago,” said John Bozard, president of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation. “We’re delighted that our partnership continues to this day as we look for new and innovative ways to extend our patient-centered philosophy and heighten the care we provide for children.”Read More »Disney Contributes $3 Million to Child Emergency Care at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando

The Walt Disney Company Named Most Socially Responsible

Editor: Please welcome new guest author Katie. She brings with her a unique business perspective to the blog. Forbes announced recently that a consulting firm called Reputation Institute has determined the companies with the best reputations for being socially responsible and being an overall good… Read More »The Walt Disney Company Named Most Socially Responsible