LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 12, 2017 — The Walt Disney World Resort is keeping spirits and futures bright this holiday season with a $1.1 million donation to benefit thousands of members from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
This brightest gift of all helped the organization cross the finish line of construction for their newest club—the Hughes Branch, located in downtown Orlando at the new OCPS Academic Center of Excellence (ACE) and operating since August. ACE provides ongoing services, before-school, after-school and weekend programs to its preschool through eighth-grade students.
“There’s something special about giving back at this time of year and investing in great young people who are from the heart of our community,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “This additional club branch not only expands the outreach of Boys & Girls Clubs in our community but helps encourage the children of today to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Walt Disney World Resort has a long-standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida through their support of each of the 35 Central Florida Club branches. The company’s relationship with the Boys & Girls Clubs dates back to Walt Disney himself, who served as spokesman and honorary board member for the organization.
“I’m not sure we could have dreamt of a better gift to receive this holiday season,” said Gary Cain, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. “We are truly fortunate to have Walt Disney World Resort right in our backyard. The support they provide is a gift year-round, and they continually ensure our students and members feel celebrated, special and recognized.”
This donation is the latest gift in a series of donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, which received more than $1 million for the Walt Disney World Clubhouse and renovated kitchen in Pine Hills, and $750,000 for the sponsored teen center at the organization’s Tupperware Brands Branch in Osceola County. The Walt Disney Company is also the title sponsor of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year program.
In 2017 alone, Walt Disney World Resort provided the organization with a $150,000 Disney Grant, more than $310,000 of in-kind donations and other support. Disney VoluntEARs dedicated more than 600 hours to the organization, and also chose them to receive ten EARS To You Grants, amassing another $8,000 in giving.
In addition to financial support, more than 1,000 Club members were among the first to visit Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.