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Walt Disney World Resort Donates $12.5 Million to Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center

Submitted by: Disney Corporate Citizenship

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 14, 2007 – 08:19 PM EST

 

Other Gifts Include $700,000 to Central Florida Charities, $1 Million Renovation of the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 14, 2007--Walt Disney World Resort today unveiled plans for three significant financial donations to the Central Florida community led by a $12.5 million commitment to the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center (DPAC), it was announced by Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney World Resort.

"Disney Cast Members take great pride in supporting our community and making Central Florida a better place to live, work and play," said Crofton. "It's exciting to be a part of the renaissance taking place in downtown Orlando and helping to make our community's dreams come true."

Through its contribution, Walt Disney World Resort will sponsor one of two halls at the performing arts center.

"Disney's contribution toward the construction of DPAC demonstrates its commitment to making Central Florida a cultural hub for the residents of our community as well as a premier tourist destination," said Dr. Rita Bornstein, a member of the executive committee of the DPAC board of directors.

During the event, hundreds of community leaders also helped to celebrate the $1 million renovation of the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park. Additionally, the company awarded $700,000 in grants to 38 Central Florida non-profit organizations. Collectively, today's contributions totaled $14.2 million.

In 1989, Walt Disney World Resort contributed $425,000 in cash and services to design and build the amphitheater, which has served as a site for musical and artistic community events. Earlier this year, the company partnered with the City of Orlando to renovate the facility and contributed more than $1 million to the project.

The Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grant Awards were presented to organizations whose efforts are grounded in one or more of the four platforms identified by Walt Disney World Resort's commitment to building better futures for children: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion.

"It is a privilege for Walt Disney World Resort to support community organizations that demonstrate such a deep dedication to improving the lives of children in Central Florida," said Eugene Campbell, the company's director of Community Relations.

Two organizations received special awards named in honor of former Disney executives who have made significant contributions to the community. The Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award honors the late Bob Allen, who started his career at Disneyland in 1955 and ended his tenure with a decade-long stint as vice president of Walt Disney World Resort. After his death in 1987, Allen's family formed an endowment fund that assists local social service, environmental and humanitarian organizations. This year, Disney awarded a $60,000 grant in Allen's name to the Kids House of Seminole, Inc. to help them recruit and train foster grandparents to work with pre-school age children.

The Dianna Morgan Children's Champion Award is in honor of Dianna Morgan, a children's advocate who forged relationships among Disney, community members and leaders throughout Florida during her 30-year career with the company. This $52,500 award was presented to The BETA Center to fund its apprenticeship program.

Each year, Walt Disney World Resort mails grant applications to non-profit organizations throughout Central Florida. This year, the company received more than 130 applications. The grant recipients were chosen by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members.

Walt Disney World Resort Community Relations

Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center. Disney Cast Members are committed to building a better community through sharing their time, talent and resources. In 2006, Walt Disney World Resort contributed more than $22 million to Central Florida non-profit organizations. In addition, Disney VoluntEARS gave more than 197,000 hours of their time in 2006 to community causes - the equivalent of $3 million in labor - and more than $3 million of their own money to the United Way. More than 150 Disney executives show their leadership in the community by serving on boards of non-profit agencies and trade associations.

Disney Worldwide Outreach

Disney brightens the lives of children in need around the world through global outreach programs, local community initiatives and the Disney VoluntEARS program. Last year, Disney donated more than $170 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities around the world. Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 485,000 hours of service and the company drew upon its unique magic to make wishes come true for children and families. The Disney VoluntEARS program provides opportunities for Disney employees to contribute their time and expertise toward making a positive impact in the communities they serve while furthering the traditions and ideals of The Walt Disney Company. For more information on Disney's outreach efforts, please visit www.disneyhand.com.

Editor's Note: For a complete list of grant recipients and photos of the event, please visit our website at www.wdwpublicaffairs.

Sharing the Magic with Central Florida

Walt Disney World Resort is committed to helping Central Florida become an even better place to live, work and play. Since 1999, Walt Disney World Resort has donated more than $171 million in cash and in-kind support to the Central Florida community, as well as nearly 200,000 VoluntEAR hours.

Community Leadership

Walt Disney World Resort is committed to providing leadership that will continue to help Central Florida thrive and grow.

Nearly 130 Disney Cast Members sit on the boards of more than 150 local non-profit organizations. For example, Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort, serves on the board of directors for the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and Orlando Regional Healthcare, as well as on the Rollins College Board of Trustees.

Recent initiatives in which Walt Disney World Resort has played an
active role include:

-- Further diversifying Florida's economy - Walt Disney World Resort leaders were actively engaged in bringing the Burnham Institute to Central Florida and helping to make the dream of a University of Central Florida Medical School a reality. Both projects are expected to help diversify and drive the region's economy for years to come.

-- Growing and Using Tourism Revenues Wisely - Walt Disney World Resort leaders played a significant role in securing a one-penny increase in the Tourist Development Tax, which will help finance important community projects as well as enhance tourism marketing efforts.

DisneyHand - Helping Kids Shine

Walt Disney World Resort's community programs and partnerships are focused on building better futures for children in Central Florida, and ultimately, a stronger community for everyone. It is the goal of DisneyHand-Helping Kids Shine to engage children in society by creating healthy, guiding relationships with adults, providing constructive free time activities, offering character-building opportunities, and encouraging a sense of compassion for others, while helping those children who face adversity.

In 2006, the company donated $22.3 million in cash and in-kind support to local non-profit organizations. For example:

-- Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants is the company's premier charitable giving program and provides funding for organizations or agency programs that focus on building better futures for children. In 2006 and 2007, 38 organizations received $700,000. To date, nearly $9 million has been awarded.

-- In 2006, the Disney Harvest program donated more than 26,500 pounds of prepared food per month - valued at more than $1.8 million - as part of a program run by the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

-- Disney continued to be the primary sponsor of the A Gift for Music program with a $200,000 donation. A Gift for Music provides, at no cost, instruction on stringed instruments to students who normally could not afford such an opportunity.

-- Walt Disney World Resort's excess inventory continued to meet the needs of many non-profit organizations in Central Florida. Last year, merchandise donations were valued at more than $1.3 million.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is the largest corporate contributor in the area to the Heart of Florida United Way, and in 2006, Walt Disney World Cast Members contributed $3.1 million.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is contributing $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to rebuild the Boys & Girls Club in Pine Hills.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS showed their character in 2006 by volunteering more than 197,000 hours to benefit local non-profit organizations:

-- Disney has been a top supporter of Junior Achievement's in-school programs for many years. Disney also is the top participant in the annual Junior Achievement Bowl-A-Thon. In 2006, 4,700 Cast Members raised more than $256,000 for the Osceola and Orange County programs.

-- In summer 2006, Walt Disney World VoluntEARS conducted a successful back-to-school supply drive. Cast Members donated enough paper, pencils, and other supplies to fill more than 10,000 backpacks, which were distributed to students on free-or reduced-lunch programs at 14 schools in Orange and Osceola counties.

-- In partnership with Keep Brevard Beautiful, Disney VoluntEARS took part in the 2006 Florida Coastal Cleanup. Cast Members and their families removed more than 215 bags (5,600 pounds)of trash and storm debris from seven miles of Brevard County's shoreline.

-- VoluntEARS supported Toys for Tots through a property-wide toy collection. They contributed over 2,300 hours of volunteer service assisting with family registration, toy sorting and toy distribution, making the holidays brighter for more than 16,000 Central Florida families.

-- In 2006, Cast Members donated more than 2,350 units of blood to the Central Florida Blood and Tissue Bank at on-site blood drives.

-- The VoluntEAR of the Year/Team of the Year recognition program is a unique opportunity to honor extraordinary VoluntEARs. Winners are each recognized with $2,500 cash donations to one eligible non-profit organization of their choice.

-- The Ears to You program recognizes individual Cast Members and Imagineers for their VoluntEAR service, through a contribution of up to $1,000 to the eligible non-profit organization of their choice. More than 300 grants totaling more than $170,000 were awarded to local non-profit organizations in 2006.

-- Additionally, 248 Walt Disney World VoluntEARS were recognized for their outstanding commitment to the Central Florida community; each received the President's Volunteer Service Award from the President's council on Service and Civic Participation, which was established in January 2003 by President George W. Bush.

Walt Disney World Resort supports education in Central Florida in
a variety of ways:

-- Disney awarded more than $245,000 to Central Florida teachers and schools in November 2006 as part of Disney's Teacherrific Symposium and Awards. The program recognizes and inspires educators who have implemented innovative and creative classroom programs.

-- Since becoming involved in the Walt Disney World Florida Classic, Disney has donated more than $2.3 million to the scholarship funds of Bethune-Cookman College and Florida A&M University.

-- More than 100,000 fifth graders have participated in Jiminy Cricket's Environmentality Challenge, a statewide program organized by Walt Disney World Resort and the State of Florida that encourages fifth graders to think and act environmentally. Each year, the winning class is treated to a trip to Walt Disney World Resort, and their school is awarded $2,000 to further science education.

-- To date, more than 9,400 students have been named Disney Dreamers and Doers. The program recognizes exceptional students throughout Central Florida for demonstrating outstanding character development.

-- Walt Disney World Resort's school-to-work effort began in 1990 to help students make a successful transition from high school to higher education or further training and into a productive career. In 2006, 36 at-risk youth graduated through the company's programs.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is contributing $2 million to the University of Central Florida's Rosen School of Hospitality Management to train future leaders in Florida's entertainment and hospitality industry.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is contributing $1 million to Valencia Community College to support programs in culinary science and hospitality. It is the largest private cash gift in the school's history.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is contributing $500,000 to Rollins College to benefit The Campaign for Rollins, The Rollins Fund for the Walt Disney World Scholars Program, the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business Scholarship Fund and the Hamilton Holt School Scholarship Fund.

-- Walt Disney World Resort is contributing $250,000 to the Florida A&M University College of Law to sponsor the Children and Family Law Clinic for law students to provide pro bono legal assistance to clients with wide-ranging family and juvenile law matters.

Through its Compassion Program, Walt Disney World Resort helps to create special memories for children with life-threatening illnesses. Disney donates complimentary theme park tickets and merchandise to Give Kids the World Village and other wish-granting organizations. Walt Disney World Resort donated more than 41,000 complimentary tickets valued at more than $6.4 million in 2006.

Revenue for Central Florida Governments

The company contributes to the community in many ways - through the millions of dollars in taxes it generates for local governments, the leadership it provides on important community issues and the cash and in-kind support it provides local non-profit organizations. Disney is the largest taxpayer in Central Florida, annually paying approximately $477 million in taxes.

-- Ad valorem taxes paid to Orange County are approximately $75 million, which is more than the next 10 highest county taxpayers combined. More than $36 million of these funds go directly to education. Walt Disney World Resort pays nearly $12 million in annual ad valorem taxes to Osceola County.

-- Disney generated more than 33 percent of the Tourist Development Taxes collected in Orange County and approximately 22 percent of these taxes in Osceola County in 2006.

-- Disney paid or collected more than $390 million in state sales, use and communications taxes and local resort taxes for the surrounding communities in 2006.

-- A study by economist Dr. Hank Fishkind (2004) showed that Walt Disney World Resort and its employee base of households provides a net surplus of $100 million annually to the county's local governments and schools.

-- In addition to the county taxes, Walt Disney World Resort paid approximately $56 million in taxes to the Reedy Creek Improvement district in 2006. These tax dollars go toward building hundreds of millions of dollars worth of public infrastructure at no cost to taxpayers.


2007 Disney's Helping Kids Shine Grants Recipients
Recipient Received
A Gift for Music$18,000
American Red Cross of Central Florida$23,900
Assoc. to Preserve African American Society, History and
Tradition, Inc.
$2,100
Bay Street Players - Young People's Theater Division$16,300
Best Buddies of Florida$10,000
BETA Center$52,500
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida$5,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter Counties$12,000
Camp Boggy Creek$47,000
Center for Independent Living in Central Florida, Inc.$5,000
Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center (Lakeland)$6,900
Community Vision$5,600
Educational Foundation of Lake County$13,900
Florida Safety Council, Inc.$5,000
Florida Senior Programs- Foster Grandparent Program$36,000
Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools$31,700
Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Inc.$20,000
Justice and Peace Office, Inc.$$42,000
Kids House of Seminole, Inc.$60,000
Lake Wales Care Center, Inc.$5,100
MicheLee Puppets, Inc.$21,700
Office for Farmworker Ministry$40,000
Orange County Library System $5,000
Orlando Ballet$13,500
Orlando Neighborhood Improvement Corporation$20,000
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Inc.$15,000
Orlando Regional Healthcare Foundation - The Howard Phillips
Center
$22,700
Orlando Repertory Theatre$10,000
Osceola County Council on Aging, Inc.$15,100
People’s Theatre, Inc.$10,000
Safehouse of Seminole- Seminole Co. Victim’s Rights$12,000
Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation - Florida BookPALS$10,000
Shepherd’s Promise$20,000
UCP of Central Florida$29,200
Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, Inc.- Polk$21,000
Winter Park Day Nursery$6,800

Copyright Business Wire 2007

For more information, please contact:

Jacquee Polak
Phone: 407-828-3814

For more from this organization:

Disney Corporate Citizenship

 

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