Friday, December 14, 2007

The Walt Disney Company Volunteers Build Playground for the LA Boys & Girls Club

LOS ANGELES — The Walt Disney Company's President and CEO, Bob Iger, and 150 other Disney VoluntEARS, including the company's senior management team, built a new playground for the kids of the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles. Known as the "freeway club," this club daily serves more than 300 low-income children in the immediate neighborhood. For this ond-day project, hundreds of volunteers from Disney and the Boys & Girls Club built a playground that was designed with the help of the children. The project was completed in collaboration with KaBOOM!, TreePeople and other local community members. The group was later joined by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa who participated in a special dedication ceremony.

"Safe, clean and creative playgrounds make a world of difference for the children whose lives are brightened and enriched by these facilities," said Mayor Villaraigosa. "Thanks to Disney, KaBOOM!, the Boys and Girls Club of East LA and TreePeople, many young Angelenos will be smiling, laughing and playing here for many years to come."

Since 2005, Disney has committed more than $7 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs Of America (BGCA), including a $1 million contribution to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim, the single largest gift that organization has received in its 16-year history. Disney's history with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America spans more than 50 years, beginning when Walt Disney was an honorary member of the organization's board of directors.

Disney brightens the lives of children in need around the world through global outreach programs, local community initiatives and the Disney VoluntEARS program. Last year, Disney donated more than $177 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities throughout the world, and Disney VoluntEARS contributed more than 466,000 hours of service. The Disney VoluntEARS program provides opportunities for Disney employees to contribute their time and expertise towards making a positive impact in the communities they serve while furthering the traditions and ideals of The Walt Disney Company.

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,300 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.

It's good to see Disney continuing to support children in its home base of Southern California. The Boys & Girls Club of East Los Angeles is probably a home away from home for many young patrons, and the playground will enhance their outdoor experiences.

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