Central Florida Charities “Shine On” Thanks to $700,000 in Disney Grants

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Mickey MouseLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., May 21, 2009 – Showing a strong commitment to building a better future for the children of Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort gave a total of $700,000 in grants to 34 worthy non-profit organizations via prize patrols that blanketed the region during the last two weeks.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to celebrate and honor the accomplishments of these very deserving non-profit organizations that tirelessly work on behalf of our community’s youth,” says Eugene Campbell, vice president of Community Relations and Minority Business Development for Walt Disney World Resort. “Walt Disney World Resort is always looking for ways to invest in the children of Central Florida. By doing so, we hope to ultimately create a stronger community for us all.”

Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants recognize those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children. This year’s recipients were chosen by panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. In order to be considered for a Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grant, non-profits must offer programs that focus on children in four specific areas: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion.

Disney’s Top Grants Awards: Coalition for the Homeless and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida
The season of giving started Monday, May 11 when Walt Disney World Resort recognized the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida with its top Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grant – the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award – for the second year in a row. Mickey Mouse, along with Walt Disney World Resort President Meg Crofton, Allen family members and a Disney prize patrol, awarded $60,000 to the non-profit group’s child development programs, which aim to instill values such as trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility, personal power and self-esteem.

“It’s humbling and a great honor to be recognized for our work with families,” said Brent Trotter, President and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. “Families with children are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population in Central Florida today. We’ve created a wide variety of services to meet the unique needs of the growing number of children who use the Coalition’s services, and are happy to have the support of Disney in our mission.”

Mickey Mouse, joined by a Disney prize patrol, arrived at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida Wednesday, May 13 to honor the agency with the Dianna Morgan Children’s Champion Award in recognition of the magic the organization creates through youth outreach and mentoring.

“We couldn’t be more surprised or thrilled,” said Jennifer Rider, Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida, which received $50,000. “Thanks to Disney’s funding, we’ll be able to maintain our support staff that make and sustain our mentoring matches. They play a critical role in helping set our youth up for future success.”

Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants Recognizes 34 Recipients

Recipients of the 2009 Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants include:
·   Adult Literacy League, Inc. ($17,000)
·   Best Buddies Florida ($12,000)
·   Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida ($50,000)
·   Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Inc. ($40,000)
·   Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake & Sumter, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Bridges of Light Foundation, Inc. ($48,000)
·   Camp Fire USA Sunshine Council ($18,600)
·   Center for Independent Living in Central Florida, Inc. ($17,400)
·   Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida ($60,000)
·   Community Trust Foundation ($15,000)
·   Early Learning Coalition of Osceola County ($15,000)
·   Explorations V Children’s Museum ($15,000)
·   Florida Children’s Repertory Theatre ($10,000)
·   Florida Citrus Sports Foundation ($25,000)
·   Foster Grandparent Program of Central Florida ($30,000)
·   Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Golden Rule Foundation, Inc. ($14,000)
·   Habitat for Humanity in Seminole County, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Harbor House of Central Florida, Inc. ($39,000)
·   Hispanic Resource Link, Inc. ($15,000)
·   Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida, Inc. ($20,000)
·   Hope CommUnity Center ($35,000)
·   Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando, Inc. ($20,000)
·   Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, Inc. ($15,000)
·   Justice and Peace Office, Inc. – Apopka Family Learning Center ($25,000)
·   New Hope for Kids ($25,700)
·   Orlando Day Nursery Association, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Orlando Museum of Art  ($9,500)
·   Orlando Repertory Theatre ($10,800)
·   Orlando Science Center, Inc. ($20,000)
·   Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Osceola County Council on Aging ($15,000)
·   Restore Orlando, Inc. ($10,000)
·   Winter Park Day Nursery ($3,000)

For prize patrol reports and pictures offering more insight on these agencies, visit www.shineontoday.com.

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