Walt Disney World Resort
July 1, 2013
COMMUNITY UPDATE
VoluntEARS Earn $955K for Nonprofits
VoluntEARSUp
More than 500 Central Florida nonprofit organizations will soon receive 
$955,000 in recognition of the 230,000 hours donated by Disney VoluntEARS last year. Walt Disney World Resort recognizes Cast Members who donate at least 10 hours of service through EARS to You grants, which are financial contributions of up to $1,000 that Cast may donate to their favorite nonprofits. This year, the donations will benefit a variety of organizations, including youth development groups, health and social service programs, community theaters and pet rescue organizations.  
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Wishes Come True for Foster Kids
Wishing Well - Boy w coin  
Scooping up coins tossed into wishing wells by guests, Walt Disney World Resort donated $15,000 to the Foundation for Foster Children. The money will help make wishes come true for kids living with foster families. "This donation enables us to give children new opportunities and experiences, such as dance lessons and tutoring, that will help them succeed and become contributing members of our community," said Betsey Bell, executive director of the Foundation for Foster Children. For more than 30 years, Walt Disney World has donated "wish coins" to children's charities. This year, Cast Members selected the recipient organization.
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Entrepreneur Center Marks 10 Years
NECAnniversary
Local business owners and community leaders recently celebrated
the National Entrepreneur Center's 10th
anniversary. Founded by Walt Disney World Resort, Orange County and the University of Central Florida, the center has assisted hundreds of new businesses. "Congratulations to the center, its staff and volunteers for 10 years of serving small businesses in our region," said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. 
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Disney Hosts Gala to Benefit Kids
EarlyLearningGAla 
More than 350 Central Florida community leaders recently attended the "First Five Years Gala" at Epcot to raise funds benefitting the Early Learning Coalitions of Orange and Osceola counties. The organizations help pre-school children prepare for kindergarten. In addition to sponsoring the gala, Walt Disney World Resort supports the organizations through financial donations and Cast Members who serve on volunteer boards.
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Reading Program Motivates Students
Reading Program Teacher 
This summer, the Orange County Library System is encouraging youth to read and learn with support from a Disney
Helping Kids Shine grant. The Dig into Reading program features science, animals, arts and storytelling at 15 locations. According to library leaders, summer reading helps students get a head start when classes resume. "If kids don't have to play catch-up, teachers can start teaching new material right away," said Mary Ann Hodel, director of the Orange County Library System. Last year, the program served more than 31,000 students.
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ALSO MAKING HEADLINES...
Football Fans Flock to Central Florida for MEAC/SWAC Challenge
  
 Mickey & Minnie MEAC/SWAC 

 

Tickets are now available for the 9th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, which brings thousands of families to Central Florida for fun and football over Labor Day weekend.

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Young Patients Get Special Visits from Disney 
  
Animal Visits
  
Disney characters and interesting animals make monthly visits to young patients at children's hospitals in Central Florida.
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Our Vote for Dad of the Year at Disney's Animal Kingdom

KennyDAK

Get a glimpse of one of the newest dads at Disney's Animal Kingdom, where this siamang father is raising twin daughters. 
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Disney Cast Member 
Receives Safety Award

     

 

The American Society of Safety Engineers recognized Disney Cast Member Heather Earl for her accomplishments in the field of safety. 

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