ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings honored Walt Disney World Resort by declaring December 3 “Walt Disney World Day” in an event at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
After the proclamation, a group of Disney VoluntEars helped sort and pack food to be distributed to thousands of families in need throughout Central Florida.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida president and CEO Dave Krepcho pointed out that the distribution center was made with the collaboration of the Disney Imagineers, the engineers that create many of the attractions in the theme parks. “They made such an incredible environment that truly inspires,” he said. “When the pandemic broke out, Disney was there first, asking ‘what do you need’ and ‘how can we support you,’ and they were there and kept us strong right from the start, helping us to help the community in such a strong day.”
Second Harvest was one of six nonprofits that received $3 million in Walt Disney World donations this past year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the opening of Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney World Resort president Jeff Vahle received the proclamation, saying “it was an honor” to work with nonprofits. “We are fortunate to have been in this community for fifty years,” he added.
Mayor Dyer said that Disney “has had such an impact in Central Florida in so many visible ways, but also in so many not-so-visible ways. We all have a story about Disney, and Disney is all about the power of their stories. Since 1971, Disney has provided hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of ‘voluntEAR’ hours for the community.”
Among the donations to the city, Disney has donated to the Walt Disney Amphitheater in Lake Eola, and is one of the founding donors of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Arts. Also, Disney donated a million dollars to help survivors and their families of the Pulse tragedy.
Mayor Demings remarked that his connection to Disney reaches all the way back to the 70s, when he worked as a cast member. “In serving this community as long as I have, I have seen the countless number of individuals, cast members and other opportunities that Disney has provided to our community to give back. The time spent making magic for guests from all around the world stays with you forever,” he said.
Demings also pointed out how Disney has contributed to the economy of Central Florida, not only donating money but also providing hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as collecting and distributing 830,000 pounds of prepared, unserved meals through Disney Harvest. “In 2020 alone these donations provided one million meals to residents in need,” he said.
Disney has also donated $100 million through its children’s hospital program, which benefits patients in Orlando Health, Advent Health, and Nemours.
Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment writer for Florida National News. He is also the Content Coordinator for FNN News en Español. | firstname.lastname@example.org