PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. (July 18, 2009) – In a surprise celebration onboard the Disney Magic cruise ship, Disney Cruise Line announced the VoluntEAR of the Year recipients, awarding the efforts of Disney crew members giving back to communities around the globe.
Beverage Host, Archie Bugarin, Broadcast Engineer, Edwin Non and Show Control Engineer, Derek Segarra were recognized for their collective efforts supporting outreach projects in Disney Cruise Line ports, as well as giving back to education programs in their home country of the Philippines.
“We are proud to honor the dedication of these crew members,” said Mark Witko, Disney Cruise Line Community and Government Relations Manager. “They exemplify the positive impact that Disney Cruise Line strives to have on communities, both in our ports of call and around the world.”
Bugarin, Non and Segarra donated their time to raise funds and support for the APO Learning Center, a non-profit organization located in their home country of the Philippines. Dedicated to providing free education to impoverished children, APO donates school supplies, uniforms, tuition and groceries to deserving families, while also providing free health screenings to areas in need.
As VoluntEAR of the Year recipients, Bugarin, Non and Segarra received a $2,500 cash grant from The Walt Disney Company to present to APO.
“It means so much to me that Disney supports our volunteer efforts, both on the ship and off,” said Segarra. “I’m very proud to know that, even while working thousands of miles away from home, we are still able to give back and help children in our communities.”
The VoluntEAR of the Year award is just one way that Disney recognizes the impact of cast and crew members donating their time to give back to the community. An additional program titled “EARS to You” assists with furthering volunteer service by granting cash awards to the favored charities nominated by cast and crew members on behalf of The Walt Disney Company. Grant amounts are based on the number of volunteer hours served each year. In 2008, the “EARS to You” program distributed more than $23,000 to global agencies on behalf Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS.
In 2008, cast and crew members donated more than 4,200 hours of volunteer service to non-profit agencies working across Central Florida, in Disney Cruise Line ports of call and in the home countries of its cast and crew.
Through the Disney VoluntEARS program, Disney Cruise Line strives to provide opportunities for cast and crew members to contribute their time and expertise toward positively impacting their local communities.