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episode-vii-cast-read-through-star-wars

The public hasn’t seen one inch of footage from the new Star Wars film, but already I’m impressed with JJ Abrams’ vision. If he’s able to be such a good steward of the Star Wars brand via projects like Star Wars: Force for Change, then I feel a lot better about trusting him with the entire legacy of the series.

Turns out Star Wars: Force for Change has already raised $4,261,410 USD for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Disney has also committed an additional US $1 million to support the launch of Star Wars: Force for Change. Fan contributions were received via fundraising platform Omaze from citizens of 125 countries and enough money was raised to support the equivalent of 7-8 new UNICEF Innovation Labs.

Here’s the video of the contest winner getting the news:

The grand-prize winner was D.C. Barns of Denver Colorado, who shared during a donor video chat that the first time he saw Star Wars when it opened in theaters in 1977, when he was only five. “I loved it! … I just couldn’t get it out of my head of 35 years.” D.C. was then asked to share his favorite Star Wars moment. As he began to reply, he was suddenly surprised in his Denver office by members of Star Wars: Force for Change team. Once settled, D.C. exclaimed, “This! This is my new favorite Star Wars moment!”

D.C. will enjoy a trip to London for himself and a guest, a behind-the-scenes visit to the Star Wars set, and will be fitted with a costume and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII.

arnold-palmer-disney-er

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.”