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.”
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:
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.”