Mickey Mouse has been surprising and recognizing special groups of Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort for their community service efforts in Central Florida last year. To recognize those efforts, Disney honored the top 2015 VoluntEARS of the Year.
“Our VoluntEARS are the heart and soul of Disney in the community,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “Their passion and dedication to nonprofit groups continues to improve the lives of Central Florida families and kids.”
As Disney VoluntEARS, Cast Members donated more than 235,000 hours and steered more than $1 million in EARS To You grants to nonprofit organizations and community service groups in 2014.
This year’s top VoluntEAR team provided more than 750 hours of community service activities such as collecting more than 6,300 school supplies for Central Florida students last year. The team also raised more than $13,000 to benefit cancer associations and homeless pets.
Cast Members Jon and Danielle Warner, along with their two sons, David and Patrick, can be found supporting many local events in their Celebration community, including the 34747 Cares food pantry and the Celebration Art Stroll. The family was named the first VoluntEAR Family of the Year. Each received their own Mousecar trophy and embroidered Mickey EARS for this new tradition in Disney VoluntEARS history.
As an individual contributor, Christine Flego was named the VoluntEAR of the Year for her efforts to collect food and school supplies for local children. She also engaged nearly 100 fellow Cast Members to donate and fill 130 back packs for kidsPACK Inc., an organization that provides weekly back packs of food to students attending Osceola, Polk and Hardee county schools. In addition, she donated several inches of her hair to Locks of Love, which supplies hairpieces to children who have suffered hair loss from a medical diagnosis.
In recognition of their service, Disney will donate $2,500 to the nonprofits of their choice.
The Disney VoluntEARS program started more than 30 years ago as a way for Cast Members to focus their volunteer efforts in a more meaningful way.
Wishing you Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust
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