The curtain will rise one last time in New York City on March 13, 2011 in celebration of seven glorious years of the musical celebration benefit “ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.” The event, which to date has raised over $1.6 million, will feature stars from ABC’s “All My Children,” “One Life to Live,” “General Hospital” and “The View” who’ll join together in song and dance on Broadway for this final New York City-based gala concert in support of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
At sunrise on October 17, more than 12,000 walkers gathered on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park to make a lasting impact on the lives of local families by taking part in CHOC Walk in the Park presented by Disneyland Resort. In honor of the event’s 20th anniversary, Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis surprised CHOC Children’s Hospital with a special $200,000 donation, bringing total funds to a record $2 million raised in a single year. The Disney VoluntEARS team – composed of Disney cast members, friends and family – was the largest in terms of funds raised. The walk is the organization’s largest fund-raising event and has raised more than $16 million since its inception.
Just in time for the holiday season, United Way (UW) is announcing The Benefit Sale, hosted and sponsored by Walt Disney World Resort. Supporting the efforts of UW and other local nonprofit agencies, the inaugural retail event on Saturday, November 6 from 5:30 – 9:30 a.m. will feature incredible discounts of up to 50 to 75 percent off select merchandise at many of the participating Downtown Disney locations.
Disneyland Resort cast members made magic for their favorite Southern California nonprofit organizations by donating more than $385,000. This month, cast members selected nearly 80 organizations – from local schools to social services – to receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
The Anaheim Interfaith Shelter was one of the organizations that received a $5,000 grant. The shelter will use the funds to provide healthy food options at its on-site food pantry, helping to counter obesity among underprivileged children. The organization assists families in need of short-term support due to one-time events that cause homelessness.
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.
Walt Disney World Cast Members are lending a helping hand to Central Florida students in need this week by giving them the right supplies to start the upcoming school year with confidence. Stocking up on boxes of crayons, rulers, folders and packs of notebook paper, Disney Cast Members hit an all-time high by donating more than 2 million school supplies through Walt Disney World Resort’s annual back-to-school supply drive.
“I’m so proud of our Cast Members who gave a record number of school supplies to benefit our community, which is encountering a record level of need,” says Nancy Gidusko, director of Community Relations for Walt Disney World Resort. “By contributing these back-to-school basics, Disney Cast Members are making a difference in the lives of many local students and reaching more students, teachers and classrooms than ever before.”
This week, hundreds of Disney VoluntEARS sorted school supplies and distributed them to local students and teachers through partnerships with A Gift For Teaching and S.T.A.R.S. (Supplies to Assist Our Students). The annual campaign expanded beyond Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties this year to include Lake and Polk counties.
On Tuesday, Disney VoluntEARS gave nearly 1 million school supplies – ranging from pencils to scissors – to A Gift For Teaching. Walt Disney World Resort’s donation is annually the largest contribution received by the organization. Local teachers can pick up the supplies year-around through A Gift For Teaching’s free store, which benefits students in need in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
“With their substantial donations, Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members are at the forefront of helping us collect as many school supplies as we can for students in struggling families and the teachers that are compelled to help them,” said Jane Thompson, president of A Gift For Teaching.
Later this week, Disney VoluntEARS will distribute 6,460 backpacks, filled with 1.3 million school supplies, through S.T.A.R.S. The backpacks will be given to students at 13 Orange County public elementary schools in areas of high need.
“Disney is making a difference in the lives of thousands of young local students by donating the necessities for school,” says Chesta Hembrooke, president and founder of S.T.A.R.S. “For many, the backpacks are the only new item they receive to start the school year.”
Throughout August, The Walt Disney Company is donating $627,050 to the Central Florida community in recognition of the 251,000 hours given by Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS in 2009. From schools to shelters, Cast Members selected approximately 250 local non-profit agencies and community service groups to receive Disney’s EARS to You grants. Top recipients include Orange County Public Schools, A Better Life Pet Rescue and local chapters of the American Cancer Society.
“Disney VoluntEARS enjoy sharing their time and talents and have a vested interest in making Central Florida an even better place for all who live in our community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of community relations, Walt Disney World Resort. “The collective contributions of these Cast Members are impressive and impactful; they are truly making a difference during a time when it’s needed most.”
The Walt Disney Company, through the Disney VoluntEARS program, provides opportunities for Cast Members to give their time and expertise toward positively impacting their communities. Each year, the Company recognizes VoluntEARS who donate at least 10 hours of service with EARS to You grants, which are financial contributions of up to $1,000 to the non-profit organization of their choice.
This year, Walt Disney World Resort awarded more than 800 EARS to You grants. Disney dollars will go toward a wide array of worthy causes including local youth development groups, health and social services programs, environmental causes, community theatres and pet rescue organizations.
Disney VoluntEAR Maria Kirkland received an EARS to You grant of $500 for her active support of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “I feel very fortunate to be able to provide not only my time but a financial contribution to such a worthy organization,” said Kirkland. “It makes me feel so wonderful to know that I was able to help a family or individual to have one less stress in their life.”
Rehearsals are underway for the Encore! Cast Choir and Orchestra’s summer production, Dream Our Dreams, A Musical Tribute to the Legacy of Disney. Known for staging spectacular charity concerts, the volunteer ensemble has chosen Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Northern Florida as their 2010 beneficiary.
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 roughly 330 singers, 100 instrumentalists, 50 dancers and a production team of 40. Encore! producer Bruce Light says 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.
The stars came out in droves yesterday in Los Angeles to show their support for the 21st Annual ‘A Time for Heroes’ Celebrity Picnic to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Sponsored by Disney, the event offered tons of activities and photo-ops for the attendees.
Guests were invited to go on safari where they met Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in safari gear along with Timon from The Lion King and other Disney friends in addition to activities such as face-painting and ‘decorate your own drum.’ Other activities included creating special kits to send to mothers and babies in Africa and India.
The event was capped off by a live performance by Jesse McCartney along with a performance by The Rhythm Train featuring Chad Smith and Leslie Bixler with special guest Dick Van Dyke.
The annual event was expected to raise approximately $1.5 million to help create a generation free of HIV. Pediatric AIDS has essentially been wiped off the face of the map in the United States, however more than 1,200 children still become infected with HIV each day around the world. The Foundation currently works at more than 4,800 sites in 17 countries to bring prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS to children, women and families. Together we can eliminate pediatric AIDS worldwide.
We were there on the red carpet as many of the celebrities made their way to the event. There were far too many celebrities to name here, but just a few attending alongside Disney President and CEO Robert Iger and wife Willow Bay were Disney stars Bella Thorne, Gregg Sulkin, Debby Ryan, Ryan Newman, Caitlyn Taylor Love, Vincent Martella, Nicole Anderson, Brandon Smith, Bridgit Mendler, Jason Dolley, Logan Miller, Roshon Fegan and more. Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen and Candice Davis joined the ranks of the world class athletes, not to mention dozens of others well known from television amd films, many of which you can see in our photo gallery from the event below.
ABC Television Network and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” have teamed up to help raise money in support of Nashville flood relief with a simple “text-to-donate” charitable effort. Some cast members from the hit ABC show are scheduled to be there to lend their support and to help raise awareness for the Nashville flood victims.
Beginning today, simply text the keyword NASH [followed by a space] and the amount you want to donate to 27138. A thank you message with instructions enabling you to safely and securely fulfill your donation via credit card will follow. The donation will not be billed to your mobile phone.