Walt Disney World Resort
August 9, 2013
COMMUNITY UPDATE
Cast Members Share "Monstrous" Spirit 
MonstrousDrive

Walt Disney World Cast Members showed their "monstrous" generosity by donating millions of supplies to Central Florida students through their annual back-to-school supply drive. "When we invest in our children's education, we invest in the future of our community and Central Florida," said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations for Walt Disney World Resort. Disney VoluntEARS sorted and packed the supplies and backpacks, which will be distributed to students in Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole and Polk counties. 

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Disney Supports Education Year-Round
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Collecting and donating school supplies is one of the most recent examples of the year-round support Walt Disney World Resort offers local students. Each year, Disney provides grants to local school districts, Early Learning Coalitions and other non-profits that focus on education. In addition, the Disney Dreamers and Doers program recognizes individual students who demonstrate strong character and take action to make the world a better place. Giving their time, Disney VoluntEARS also offered more than 18,000 hours of service to local schools in 2012. These combined efforts are part of Disney's commitment to building a better future for Central Florida's children.

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Disney Donates $100K to the Red Cross
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Walt Disney World Resort recently donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross Mid-Florida Region, which responds to the needs of kids and families impacted by local disasters. "This generous donation enables the Red Cross to continue our lifesaving work preparing for and responding to emergencies in Central Florida," said Karen Hagan, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, Mid-Florida Region. In addition to Disney's financial support, nearly 100 Disney VoluntEARS recently completed the "Ready When the Time Comes" training, which prepares them to assist the Red Cross during a disaster.  

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Groups Find Treasures in Mickey's Attic
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Hunting for treasures, dozens of Central Florida non-profits recently received $1.2 million in donated items from Walt Disney World Resort. Through a program called Mickey's Attic, the groups selected surplus Disney products and found everything from DVDs and books to art supplies and sports equipment. "These donated supplies will help us put smiles on our clients' faces without impacting funding for client programs," said Amy Perry, assistant director for Easter Seals Day Break. Through efforts such as Mickey's Attic, Walt Disney World Resort helps community programs that are focused on building better futures for local children and creating a stronger community. In the past year, Walt Disney World Resort donated more than $30 million in cash and in-kind support to local groups.

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Disney Welcomes Diverse Journalists
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Nearly 2,000 journalists recently visited Central Florida for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 38th annual convention. The conference, co-sponsored by Disney, is one of the largest professional development gatherings of diverse journalists in the United States. "We are glad to be welcomed back to Central Florida for our convention," said Gregory H. Lee, Jr., president of NABJ. The attendees were welcomed by George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort during an opening reception at Disney's Hollywood Studios. They also participated in workshops, including one that showcased The Kinsey Collection of African-American art and artifacts currently on exhibit at Epcot.    
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Disney Guests Celebrate Turtles Release 
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Hundreds of conservation-minded guests at Disney's Vero Beach Resort got a front row seat to watch the recent release of two loggerhead sea turtles back to the ocean. The release is part of the
Sea Turtle Conservancy's "Tour de Turtles," which follows the migration of sea turtles from their nesting beaches to their foraging grounds. Designed to raise awareness about sea turtle conservation, this annual event also helps scientists track migratory patterns of this endangered species.  The journey of all 11 turtles participating in the marathon -- including two sponsored by Disney -- can be tracked online at www.tourdeturtles.org.
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Super Greeters Ease Language Barrier
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Central Florida and Walt Disney World Resort have seen strong visitation from Latin America this summer. One of the ways Walt Disney World Resort helps make travel easier for international tour groups is through the efforts of  99 "Super Greeters." Stationed throughout the theme parks and resort hotels, these cultural representatives are fluent in Portuguese and Spanish and help international tour groups better navigate Walt Disney World Resort.

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ALSO MAKING HEADLINES...
Get Ready for the  MEAC/SWAC Game presented by Disney

MEACSWAC

FAMU and Mississippi Valley State are ready to cheer on their teams Sept. 1 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. 
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Disney Chosen as Top "Dream Employer" 

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Liberal Arts students from top colleges rank The Walt Disney Company as the number one "ideal" employer.
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Secret Behind the Blue Name Tags

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Ever wonder about the blue name tags some Cast Members wear? The Orlando Sentinel has the scoop.
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Purdue Showcases Disney Cast Members

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Purdue University highlights the accomplishments of alumni with successful careers at Walt Disney World Resort.
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Disney VoluntEARS Perform for Charity

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Nearly 500 Cast Members sing and dance their hearts out during a special fundraising performance for a group that provides free music education to kids.   
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Disney Executive Honored by Travel Industry

RandyGarfield

The U.S. Travel Association honors Disney leader Randy Garfield for his contributions to the industry.
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Disney Cruise Line Receives Top Award

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Travel + Leisure magazine readers choose Disney Cruise Line as the top mega-ship cruise line in the world.
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Online Fans Name Baby Giraffe

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The first Masai giraffe born at Disney's Animal Kingdom has a name! Watch the video of baby "Mosi" on his first day out on the savannah.
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