Toys For Tots Offers Unprecedented Summer Toy Drive in Conjunction with ‘Toy Story 3′

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Woody and Buzz are back and they are asking for your help. Toys for Tots, in collaboration with the release of Toy Story 3, is kicking off an unprecedented summer toy drive. Throughout the month of June in 24 cities throughout the United States, the public will be asked to honor their cherished memories of childhood play by donating a new unwrapped toy during Toy Story 3 promotional events. The mission is to surpass the 16.3 million toys, books and other gifts raised in 2009 that fulfilled the holiday dreams of 7.4 million children in more than 690 communities nationwide.

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Kohl’s Offers Exclusive Toy Story Books and Plushes for $5 to Benefit Children’s Health and Education

Buzz Lightyear and Woody return to theaters in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 3, opening in June, but they’re making a stop at Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) first. Get ready for a Toy Story adventure with exclusive books and plush toys from the hit films. Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Rex the Dinosaur, along with coordinating Toy Story and Toy Story 2 books from Disney Book Group, are available at Kohl’s for just $5 each through the Kohl’s Cares for Kids® program, with 100 percent of the net profit from the sale of these items benefitting children’s health and education initiatives nationwide. Since the program’s inception ten years ago, Kohl’s has turned $5 merchandise into more than $150 million to help make a positive difference in the lives of children.

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Over 35,000 Acres of Coral Reef to be Saved by ‘OCEANS’ Moviegoers

Coral Reef Protected by donations from Disneynature on behalf of moviegoersDisneynature announced today that its “See ‘OCEANS,’ Save Oceans” campaign will protect more than 35,000 acres of coral reef in The Bahamas on behalf of the moviegoers who came out to see Disneynature’s motion picture “Oceans” during its opening week.  Through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Disneynature will help establish new marine protected areas through the The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program. At 55 square miles, this protected area of coral reefs will be almost two-and-a-half times the size of Manhattan or the equivalent of more than 412 Disneylands, supporting the expansion of the Westside National Park of Andros.

The Bahamas represent an important ecosystem, straddling the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  The 700 islands that comprise The Bahamas contain miles of vital coral reefs, which are the foundation of a healthy ocean environment, providing shelter, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species, including dolphins, sea turtles and a wide range of fish. Scientists estimate that the coral reefs of the Caribbean could be gone in 50 years without a network of well-managed marine protected areas.

“We’re excited to once again collaborate with The Nature Conservancy on an initiative that takes the impact of Disneynature’s storytelling to an entirely new level,” said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. “The health of our oceans is absolutely vital to the well-being of our planet and thanks to the supporters of Disneynature’s motion picture ‘Oceans,’ this investment in marine conservation will help ensure critical aquatic environments will thrive for future generations.”

“Disneynature has captured the beauty, wonder and fragility of our world’s marine habitats and species in ‘Oceans,’ said Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “We appreciate Disney’s commitment to help protect marine areas in The Bahamas, which is home to 30 percent of all coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. With Disneynature’s support, The Nature Conservancy and its partners are making significant progress toward our ambitious goal of doubling the total amount of marine protected area in The Bahamas.”

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Walt Disney World Hotels Partner with Clean the World to Recycle Partially Used Amenities

Walt Disney World Resort hotels are working with Clean the World to recycle all the partially used amenities from their nearly 28,000 Central Florida hotel rooms. Clean the World sanitizes the soap and shampoo that would be discarded and distributes these amenities to people in need around the world.

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Pixar Director Auctions ‘Toy Story 3′ Memorabilia for Haiti Efforts

Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is auctioning off his own personal memorabilia from the upcoming Disney/Pixar film for charitable efforts in Haiti. Unkrich has pledged 100% of the proceeds from the auctions to go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

The first item up for auction is a Toy Story 3 teaser poster featuring Sheriff Woody Pride and signed by actor Tom Hanks.

The poster, which is listed as including free shipping, can be found on eBay.

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First Look: Hand-painted Disney Instruments to Benefit Music Education

Last month,the official blog of Disney Parks introduced us to the first of five custom hand-painted Disney-themed instruments that will be auctioned off to benefit music education in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World’s Magic Music Days program.

There, the blog showed off the Genie by animator Brian Kesinger. Today we get our first look at the remaining basses in this unique collection. Pictured above, from left to right, are: Dumbo by Supervising Animator Michael Surrey and his daughter Ellen; Rapunzel by Claire Keane, Visual Development Artist for Rapunzel; The Princess and the Frog by animation designer Lorelay Bove; Genie; and Cheshire Cat by animation designer Douglas Rogers.

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The Walt Disney Company to Contribute $100K to Red Cross Efforts in Haiti

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced today it will contribute $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The donation will be provided to the Red Cross International Fund to support Haiti’s relief efforts.

“We at the Walt Disney Company are deeply saddened by this tragedy and send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Haiti and their loved ones, which include our Cast Members and employees,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

“We hope this donation will help the Red Cross to provide immediate aid and relief to the thousands of people affected by this terrible tragedy,” Mr. Iger added.

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Disney Marathon Runners Leave 13 Tons of Clothing Behind for Central Florida Organizations

Thousands of runners braved record cold temperatures to participate in the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and left behind a trail of donations that will benefit Central Florida charities.

Disney Marathon organizers collected more than 26,000 pounds of clothing shed by runners who layered on winter attire to keep warm along the 26-mile race route. From Epcot to Magic Kingdom, runners left behind approximately 30,000 pieces of clothing including coats, hats, sweaters, shirts and gloves that will be laundered at Disney textile services and later delivered to Central Florida organizations such as Harvest Time International, Salvation Army and Coalition for the Homeless.

Some runners also used the weekend as a way to raise funds for charitable causes. For example, several groups of runners collectively raised $5.4 million dollars for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Locally, friends and colleagues teamed up to put their best foot forward. The Burnham Institute’s Team Burnham raised $140,000 for blood cancer research, while two teams from Florida Hospital raised more than $54,200 for the Florida Hospital for Children. “I have never been a runner but decided since this was for a good cause to give it a try,” said Samantha O’Lenick, organizer for Florida Hospital’s Females in Training or F.I.T. team.

More than 55,000 runners registered for events such as the Disney Half Marathon, the Disney Pixar Up and Away Family Fun Run 5K, Disney’s Kids Races and a Health & Fitness Expo, marking the largest Disney Marathon Weekend since the event’s debut in 1994.

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Club Penguin Fans Give Early Holiday Gift to Kids around the World

Record numbers of children donated virtual coins they earned playing games in the popular virtual world of Club Penguin this holiday to support charities working to improve the lives of kids and families around the globe.

The third annual Coins for Change campaign, conducted from December 11 to 21, 2009, allowed children who visited Club Penguin to help change the world by contributing to help kids who are sick, kids who are poor or the environment. The players’ donations served as votes to determine how a $1 million cash contribution would be divided amongst charitable projects in the real world.

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Applications Now Being Accepted For Disney’s 2010 ‘Helping Kids Shine’ Grants for Central Florida Non-Profits

Disney's Shine OnThe application period for the 2010 Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants is now underway through February 4, 2010. Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants recognize those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children. Non-profit organizations in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Polk and Lake Counties are eligible to apply and must offer programs that focus on children in one or more of Disney’s focus areas: connecting with adults, constructive use of free time, character development and compassion.

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