Disney Hosts Gala to Benefit Orange and Osceola Pre-Schoolers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 26, 2013 - Recognizing the importance of early learning and care, Central Florida’s education and business leaders recently attended the “First Five Years Gala” at Epcot to raise money and support the Early Learning Coalitions of Osceola and Orange counties.

The non-profit organizations help pre-school children prepare for kindergarten. Research shows that children who enter school ready to learn are more likely to read at grade level, pursue higher education, and buy a house. On the contrary, for every 100 children who start school behind, 88 are still behind four years later.

Funds raised for the event will be used to ensure that children in Orange and Osceola counties have access to the tools they need to thrive so they may develop into successful and contributing adults.

This year’s gala honored David Lawrence Jr., president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, for his significant contributions to early childhood development and readiness.

Walt Disney World Resort has sponsored the gala since its inception in 2010. Disney also supports the Early Learning Coalitions of Orange and Osceola counties through financial donations as well as providing Cast Members who serve on their volunteer boards.