Taking to the stage for charitable good, the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra hit an all-time high recently by raising $36,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. The volunteer ensemble of nearly 500 Disney Cast Members put in more than 47,000 hours to produce Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney. Proceeds from the August 6-8 shows hosted at Epcot World ShowPlace were given to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida this week.
“We really appreciate everyone who came to see and support our shows and help us collect a substantial gift for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida,” said Encore! producer Bruce Light. “This $36,000 donation sets a record for us and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Epcot, and our amazing Encore! Cast who volunteered their time to help us produce our most ambitious show to date.”
Encore! offers Cast Members an outlet for their creativity and a chance to showcase their talents while performing great music for worthy causes. The troupe, founded in 2002, has grown to include 275 singers, 90 instrumentalists, 50 dancers and a production team of 40. At least half of the group has jobs outside of entertainment and aren’t performers by trade. For all involved, it’s a labor of love that truly makes a difference for charities that benefit from it.
“We are thrilled and honored to be receiving such a generous donation from the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra,” said Tiffany Durr, development and event specialist for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Northern Florida. “We rely on groups like Encore! and fundraising events to help us achieve our mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions in our local community. Through their hard work and passion, Encore! is helping us share the power of a wish and for that we are deeply appreciative and sincerely grateful.”
Since its inception in 2002, Encore! has donated the funds from its ticket sales to local charities, raising more than $150,000 to date. Beneficiaries are determined by group vote; Encore! has chosen the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts as their 2011 beneficiary. Past Encore! beneficiaries include United Arts of Central Florida, SPCA of Central Florida, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and A Gift For Teaching. To learn more, visit www.encorecentral.org.
Photos courtesy of the Walt Disney World Resort.