NEW YORK, NY (December 19, 2006) — The Walt Disney Company’s President and CEO Robert A. Iger today presented Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation’s PC Pal Program a $2.5 million donation to support its PC Pal Program at the Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children’s Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
The gift, presented to Paula Van Ness, CEO of Starlight Starbright, kicks off Disney’s support of the PC Pal Program which will provide more than 400 laptop computers to pediatric patients ages 5 to 18. Participating in the ceremony were Dr. Steven J. Corwin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Dr. Gerald Loughlin, Chairman of Pediatrics, Komansky Center for Children’s Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Kelly Ripa, Broadway stars Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
“We’re pleased to support the PC Pal Program and anticipate that the computers and games like ‘Toontown Online’ and ‘Learning With Nemo’ will provide children an entertaining and educational experience during their hospital stay,” said Iger. “This donation will brighten the lives and spirits of pediatric patients here in New York and in hospitals across the country.”
“Disney understands the challenges that children face when they’re hospitalized. It’s difficult to keep up with classes and frustrating to be out of touch with your family and friends,” said Paula Van Ness. “PC Pals help pediatric patients overcome their loneliness and boredom by connecting them with email and instant messaging and allowing them to stay on top of schoolwork and not fall behind their classmates.” “I want to thank the leadership of Disney and the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation for their extraordinary generosity and support of hospitalized children here at the Komansky Center and across the country,” said Dr. Loughlin.
Each PC Pal laptop computer system is designed to meet the unique needs of pediatric patients ages 5 to 18. PC Pals keep kids connected to life and loved ones outside the hospital through email and chat, provide hours of entertainment and fun, and enable young patients to easily keep up with school work
Each laptop also provides direct access to Starbright World, Starlight Starbright Children Foundation’s private, professionally moderated social network for seriously ill teens and their siblings that provides both a community of support and a critically important sense of belonging. Each PC Pal also comes pre-installed with Starlight Starbright’s medical education and disease management programs and Disney programs and games including “Toontown Online”, “Cinderella’s Dollhouse”, “Learning with Nemo”, “Little Mermaid Pinball” and others.
$1.5 million will be donated as part of The Walt Disney Company’s presenting sponsorship of the PC Pal program and $1 million from The Walt Disney Company Foundation will underwrite the placement of PC Pal units in children’s hospitals. The Walt Disney Company also will provide approximately $300,000 in free content and premium product access online.
About The Walt Disney Company Foundation
The Walt Disney Company Foundation was established in 1951 by Walt and Roy O. Disney to serve philanthropic needs and interests and does so today along with Disney Worldwide Outreach, part of The Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company’s outreach initiatives are dedicated to making the wishes of families and children a reality through public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in the areas of compassion, learning, the arts and the environment. To learn more about The Walt Disney Company Foundation and Disney’s outreach programs, visit DisneyHand.com.
About Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation
Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit organization that transforms the lives of seriously ill children and their families through imaginative programs that educate, uplift their spirits, foster a sense of community, and help alleviate the pain and fear of prolonged illness. Starlight Starbright offers an impressive array of in-hospital, outpatient, school and home-based programs and services that touch the lives of more than 180,000 children and families each month. To learn more visit www.starlight.org.
About NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Weill Cornell Medical College. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine and surgery, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian ranks sixth on the U.S.News & World Report’s list of top hospitals.