BURBANK, Calif (May 7, 2003) – In honor of National Volunteer Month, Disney recognized its most outstanding VoluntEARS’ commitments to outreach and participation in community events. Since its inception in 1992, the Disney VoluntEARS program, which develops opportunities for Disney employees to contribute their time, expertise and effort to make a positive impact on the community, has served more than 200 cities, 47 states, and 24 countries on six continents.
“We are proud to acknowledge and celebrate our employees who give so much of their time and effort in their communities and who embody Disney’s commitment to enable and encourage people to get involved as volunteers,” said Michael D. Eisner, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company.
This year, Disney awarded the first-ever “Show Your Character” award to Disneyland Resort’s Mike Woodhall for his outstanding volunteerism and support of military personnel through his creation of Disney’s OPERATION UPLIFT, a program through which employees send messages of support and thanks to U.S. servicemen and women. Disney’s OPERATION UPLIFT was started in 1995, following its successful trial during Operation Desert Storm. During that conflict, Mr. Woodhall read a letter in the newspaper from a serviceman who said that the troops didn’t get much mail, but when they did they knew people back at home cared. That struck a chord with Mr. Woodhall and he began writing to the troops to thank them for their efforts and to let them know people at home did indeed care about them. Since the program’s inception, more than 40,000 postcards have been sent to troops around the world and today Disney employees in Anaheim, Burbank, New York and Orlando participate in the program. For his efforts, Mr. Woodhall was named the 1998 “Disney VoluntEAR of the Year” at the Disneyland Resort. Disney employees and teams who are being recognized for outstanding service during the past year are:
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Further, as part of volunteer month, Disney continues its Disney’s Adventures All-Stars program that encourages children to make a difference in the world by helping their communities. This year, the cast from Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven” will serve as champions of the program.
Disney VoluntEARS is an international, company-wide employee volunteer initiative, logging more than 2.5 million volunteer hours for local community projects in its 11-year history. The program is administered by DisneyHand, the worldwide outreach program for The Walt Disney Company, which is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in the areas of learning, compassion, the arts and the environment. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise which includes Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC, Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Stores, television and radio stations and Internet web sites. For more information on Disney’s corporate public service efforts, please visit our Web site atwww.DisneyHand.com.