November 1, 2012

MouseMail - Walt Disney World Update for Community Leaders


November 1, 2012

Walt Disney World Resort Names Two New Ambassadors

PhotoWith a burst of confetti and cheers from friends, family and fellow Cast Members, Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo were named Walt Disney World Ambassadors during a recent ceremony at Epcot. “These two amazing people exemplify the talent and excellence of Walt Disney World,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. The new team will carry on a 47-year tradition started by Walt Disney himself by hosting Disney VoluntEAR events, making appearances in the community, serving as master of ceremonies at park events and recognizing Cast Members’ milestones and achievements. For more,click here.

 Grants to Benefit Local Children

PhotoNonprofit organizations from Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk and Lake Counties that work to build better futures for local children are encouraged to apply for Disney Helping Kids ShineGrants through Nov. 2. The funding, which last year totaled $1.5 million, helps groups like the Boys and Girls Club of Lakeland. “Summer learning loss is especially detrimental for students who are considered at risk. This award allowed us to deliver a superior summer program focused on fun and education,” said Kelly Lane, director of Development for the Lakeland nonprofit.Click here for information and applications.

 Disney VoluntEARS Walk to Raise Money and Awareness

PhotoTaking a stand against heart disease and stroke, Walt Disney World Cast Members showed their support for the American Heart Association by raising almost $33,000 during the recent 2012 Great Orlando Heart Walk. “We are grateful for the hard work of the Disney VoluntEARS,” said Nicole Donelson, vice president of the Heart Walk. “Their contribution helps us advance our mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” Read more.

 United Way Campaign Brings Magic to Central Florida Neighbors

Photo“Together, we can bring magic to the real world.” With that as their motto, thousands of Cast Members are extending the magic they make for guests every day to their neighbors in Central Florida by contributing to the annualHeart of Florida United Way(HFUW) campaign. “Walt Disney World and its Cast are consistently the leading contributors to United Way’s annual campaign,” said Robert “Bob” Brown, president/CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “Last year, their gift helped us serve 102,191 residents.”

Disney Awards Grants for Local Conservation Projects

PhotoSix Florida-based projects are among the recipients of $1.8 million in total grants awarded this year by the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) to preserve habitats and protect endangered species. The funds will help advance conservation initiatives related to coral restoration, sea turtle nesting and manatee recovery. Since 1995, DWCF has donated $20 million in grants including $4 million in Florida. Read more.

 Cast Member Helps Endangered Rhinos

PhotoA rhino expert at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park combined his passion for the species with a creative flair to lead a unique art project that raised nearly $6,000 for the International Rhino Foundation. Chad Harmon sculpted 40 horns out of foam-filled resin and recruited Central Florida painters, sculptors and other artists to design one-of-a-kind pieces that were later auctioned. “We’re hoping that these works of art will help spark more conversation about how to protect this species,” said Harmon. Since 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been part of a white-rhino breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that has resulted in nine births. Read more.

 Diversity Initiative Earns Recognition for Cast Member

PhotoThe Hispanic Business Council of Osceola County recently recognized Matt Thursam, manager of supplier diversity at Walt Disney World Resort, with its President’s Award for coordinating the first supplier diversity matchmaker event in Osceola County. Through this initiative, 200 certified minority-and women-owned businesses connected with companies looking for products and services. “Matt’s leadership has taken our program to a higher level and resulted in a closer relationship between our diverse supplier community and local corporations,” said Jose Nido, president of the Hispanic Business Council.

 Disney Engineers Receive Science and Technology Awards

PhotoFor the past 23 years, the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENNAC) has honored the industry’s best and brightest. This year, two Disney Cast Members, Vanessa Rosas and Michael Labonge, were selected for their outstanding accomplishments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers. Rosas was named HENAAC Luminary Honoree, a distinction for those who lead, collaborate and initiate key programs and research within their profession. Labonge received the Vanguard Award for promoting STEM education and careers in the community. Read more.

 Disney Honors Local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

PhotoMickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse were on hand at Disney’s Boardwalk to celebrate with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando, after the organization received this year’s top award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is a trustee of the Chamber, sponsoring events in support of the group’s leadership and economic development initiatives. “With this recognition, we are positioned to continue generating business opportunities and economic development, increasing the quality of life in our region,” said Ramón Ojeda, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

 Local Businesses Join Epcot 30th Anniversary Celebration

PhotoGuests and Cast Members recently celebrated Epcot’s 30th anniversary with themed t-shirts, snacks and other offerings created by local vendors. From Screen Works USA toSelma’s Cookies, local businesses play an important role in enhancing Epcot’s unique offerings. “Our relationships with the Central Florida business community are mutually beneficial,” said Erin Youngs, vice president of Epcot. “While they help us deliver the magic and diversify our offerings, some of these businesses, which are small or minority-owned, are put in a position to thrive and grow.”

 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Features Florida Flavors

PhotoRecognizing the importance of locally grown and sourced food, theEpcot International Food & Wine Festival is debuting the Florida Local Marketplace, offering flavors fresh from the Sunshine State. “Florida Local was inspired by some of the great farms around Orlando,” said Jens Dahlmann, executive chef at Epcot. “It’s very important to support local farmers and to showcase some of Florida’s great produce, meats, wines and beers.”

 Disney Cruise Line Chosen as World’s Best for Families

PhotoFor the fourth consecutive year,Travel + Leisure magazine readers have chosen Disney Cruise Line as the No. 1 Large-Ship Cruise Line for families. This is also the eighth year Disney Cruise Line, whose home port is Port Canaveral, has been ranked among the top five Large-Ship Cruise Lines. “Our crew and Cast Members are passionate about surprising our guests with a magical experience at sea and exceeding their expectations, and that is why families return to Disney Cruise Line again and again,” said Karl Holz, President of Disney Cruise Line. Read more.

 VoluntEARS Who Make a Difference: Brian Reif

Photo“I know I’m not just impacting one family’s experience one day, I’m helping to ensure that every family that comes to the Village has a better experience,” says Disney Cast Member Brian Reif, who volunteers at Give Kids The World Village. Brian has used his computer and technology expertise on projects that have improved the Village’s efficiency, training and overall experience for the staff and volunteers. “Brian’s dedication is paramount to making an operation like ours run at all. He fulfills and exceeds those expectations as a volunteer,” said Charlie Diauto, associate manager with Volunteer Services at Give Kids The World. Read more.

© Disney

MouseMail is a periodic news brief for Central Florida business, community
and government leaders, produced by Walt Disney World Co.

© Disney

MouseMail is a periodic news brief for Central Florida business, community and government leaders, produced by Walt Disney World, Co.

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