Disney VoluntEARS Celebrate Special Olympics Athletes and Promote Empowerment, Inclusion During the 2015 Los Angeles Special Olympics World Games

To kick off the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, Disney VoluntEARS have committed strong and heartfelt support for the festivities scheduled through August 2. Here’s an exciting snapshot of how Disney VoluntEARS have stepped up to help bring happiness, hope and laughter to landmark Special Olympics World Games celebrations so far:

As part of Disney’s support of the World Games, the Company welcomed nearly 200 athletes and coaches to Host Town celebrations in Burbank and Glendale, California at our GC3 and Burbank Studio Lot locations. During their visit, delegations of Special Olympics athletes from Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe and Botswana were cheered on by hundreds of Disney VoluntEARS, Cast Members and employees, as they marched in rousing parades led by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Christine McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, Jimmy Pitaro, Co-Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, and President of Disney Interactive, Burbank Mayor Bob Frutos, Glendale Mayor Ara Najarian and other special hosts greeted our honored guests and extended the best wishes for their competitions. Both events celebrated the courage, joy and determination of all Special Olympic athletes and gave employees the opportunity to share a smile and hug.

Fans in the Stands:
During the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, Disney VoluntEARS are also creating an atmosphere of compassion and camaraderie through participating as “Fans in the Stands.” During the World Games, more than 3,500 Disney VoluntEARS will cheer Special Olympics athletes on as they gear up for competitions in 25 different sports at venues throughout Los Angeles, including USC and UCLA.

World Games Festival at USC:
The Disney booth was a popular spot for athletes and spectators to gather and create cheer fans, take selfies and trade pins. Throughout the week, Disney’s booth will feature activities from Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Global Service Project:
In addition to serving as Founding Champion and Games Sponsor, the Company brought together 30 Disney VoluntEARS representing 15 countries, including Canada, Italy, Russia, China, Argentina, and Australia, to name just a few. The Disney VoluntEARS Global Service Project is helping to make the World Games a memorable experience for athletes and their families in communities where we live, work and play. From working alongside community members, to assisting at competition venues and interacting with athletes, Disney VoluntEARS are enjoying the unique opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and they are making a lasting, positive impact.

Disney, together with ESPN and ABC, has long supported Special Olympics. The Company celebrates the power of sports to promote social inclusion and acceptance by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities. This year, Disney is proud to sponsor the LA2015 Special Olympics World Games as a Founding Champion alongside ESPN, the official broadcaster for the World Games.

The 2015 Special Olympics World Games is the largest sports-and-humanitarian event in 2015 and the largest single event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. The convening of more than 7,000 athletes representing 170 countries, along with 3,000 coaches and 30,000 volunteers, harnesses the unparalleled spirit, enthusiasm, teamwork, joy and displays of courage and skill that are hallmarks of all Special Olympics events.