LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Mar. 26, 2014 — Amid a cascade of confetti, a serenade of inspiration and a high-five from Mickey Mouse today, Walt Disney World Resort awarded $3.8 million in Disney Grants to dozens of community groups that will positively impact the lives of more than 85,000 Central Florida children in the coming year.
Through the support provided by this signature giving program, Disney Grants will help Central Florida organizations build brighter futures for children in a variety of ways, such as securing food and shelter for families in need, empowering students to write their stories, and kindling a love of music and the arts throughout Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake and Polk counties.
“We’re honored to carry on this 42-year commitment to supporting the work of Central Florida’s community organizations,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Whether their mission is to spark kids’ creativity, nurture family health or enlighten young people with hands-on learning opportunities – today’s Disney Grants recipients share our dedication to children and families.”
During today’s ceremony at the Orlando Science Center, grant recipients came forward to receive their special Mousecar awards and were joined by children they serve. In all, 87 organizations received financial support from Disney, including 17 groups that were selected based on the strength of the applications they submitted and their alignment with Disney’s philanthropic focus.
Walt Disney World Resort also presented the Bob Allen Award to Page 15, an Orlando nonprofit that offers free after-school tutoring and creative writing workshops for local students. Awarded annually in recognition of a charitable organization’s creativity and outstanding work in Central Florida, the grant will be used to help Page 15 continue to boost students’ communication skills, encourage personal creativity and inspire a lifelong passion for language arts.
The Disney Grants awarded today represent contributions to organizations that receive grants, sponsorships, event support and other donations. In past years, Disney’s signature giving program focused solely on grant recipients without including the millions of dollars Walt Disney World Resort contributed to the community in other ways.
As a company with nearly 70,000 Cast Members who live and work in Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is committed to investing in its community. In addition to annual cash support, Walt Disney World Resort also provided more than $33 million of in-kind donations to local organizations last year, as well as more than 308,000 volunteer hours through the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS.