Walt Disney from the beginning has always made it a practice to give back to the community. As far back and 1948, the Disney Company designed the Logo for the “Toys for Tots” program. After his death, the Disney Company continues to give back to the community it serves in many ways.
And like Walt Disney Company, the World Chapter branch of the Disneyana fan club continues in this worthy tradition of giving back and making the world a bit better place to live in. On January 13th, the club donated a check of $10,000 dollars to the Walt Disney Pavilion; Children’s Hospital at Florida Hospital. The monies were directed for the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant division of the hospital. The alliance between the Walt Disney Company and the Florida Hospital goes back quite a ways. I interviewed Debbie Spielman, chief of operations for the Children’s Hospital at Florida Hospital. She said…”Disney and the Florida Hospital began to collaborate when Disney helped build and design the Florida Hospital in Celebration Florida in 2000”. She continued…”About 10 years ago, Disney and the Florida Hospital determined that a dedicated branch of the hospital was needed to treat children, and that treatment covers a Cardiac Program, Cancer, Bone Marrow transplant, cellular therapy, diabetes and Endocrine, even a neuroscience and epilepsy division. All medical conditions for children are treated here.
The new building was originally called the Walt Disney Cancer Institute, now known at the Walt Disney Pavilion. The building was dedicated in 2008. This treatment facility is unique in that it treats the medical conditions of children, infant to seventeen years old, but in a different way. Debbie explains further…” The hospital has 200 dedicated beds for children and the medical staff is also a dedicated staff, all pediatric trained”. “What makes the hospital so unique that the majority of the areas and rooms are Disney-themed” Even the lobby at the entrance was designed by Disney Imagineers, with major Disney movie themes and secondary characters in it. The idea of a hospital stay is traumatizing, even for an adult, so “With so many areas Disney-Themed, it helps to keep a child distracted from the trials of their illness” “In addition, we also have play, music, art and pet therapy” In addition to the specialized wing, the Walt Disney Company donated Ten Million dollars towards its construction, the use of the Disney name and its characters. Debbie explained that most of the monies for the unit are dependent on philanthropy.
Today, the Bone Marrow Transplant division is receiving a $10,000 donation from the World Chapter branch of the Disneyana Fan club. If you do not know, the Disneyana Fan club is an international Disney Fan club, comprising thousands of Like-minded Disney fans who share their love of Walt and his legacy. In addition to being an international one, there are many local chapters of the club around the world. Our club is known as the “World Chapter” headquartered in Orlando. The club formed in July of 1987, and according to current club President, Adria Smith…”Our chapter has from the beginning always donated back to our community” “In the past, we have donated to the “Give Kids the World”, “Toys for Tots” and the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Research”. She continues…”Our relationship with the Florida Hospital began in 2013. We try to choose Disney related charities, and decided that the Children’s Hospital was a perfect choice” She stated that the club contacted Tatjana Chenoweth, the Bone Marrow Transplant Division Development Officer. She was the club’s contact and helped put this charitable event together.
Adria added that the club since raised $50,000 dollars for its charities. The club receives its monies from our silent and open auctions at meetings and events, all items are donated by members and friends. Becoming a member of the Disneyana Fan club is richly rewarding in many ways…A place to gather with friends and share that special love of Disney and his legacy, and also a chance to give back to the many not as fortunate as we are; a chance to continue on what Walt Disney believed in, “Giving back to the Community”
If you want to be a part of the Disney magic and become a member of our chapter (World Chapter) contact the club for full information at… “World Chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club” PO box 470116, Celebration, Florida, 34747-0116. Become a part of Walt’s World.