LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Feb. 7, 2017 – Delectable dishes, delightful drinks and dancing all in support of a good cause captured the spotlight as Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) held the silver anniversary celebration of their annual Chef’s Gala at Walt Disney World Resort.
Now in its 25th year, Chef’s Gala continues to be known as our region’s premiere nonprofit food and wine-pairing event, and more significantly the largest fundraiser for HFUW generating around $250,000 this year to benefit more than 600,000 Central Florida children and families.
“The impact Heart of Florida United Way is able to create in the lives of Central Floridians is tied directly to support we receive from the community,” said Jeff Hayward, president and CEO for Heart of Florida United Way. “For the past 25 years, the expertise, collaboration and generosity of many helping hands have continued to make this event possible, allowing us to create the maximum benefit for kids and families who truly deserve it.”
As an evening of immersive culinary experiences, the Gala’s silver celebration at Epcot added an additional layer of intrigue as more than 1,000 donors and supporters of HFUW saw a model of Pandora – The World of Avatar. The replica of this awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees that will come alive this summer at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park complemented the evening’s experiences.
“I’m honored to help showcase the very best we have to offer in food, beverages and experiences at Walt Disney World, as well as the exciting adventures coming this summer with Pandora – The World of Avatar,” said David Njoroge, chef de cuisine for Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. “It’s also gratifying that the memories made by our guests as they danced, dined and delighted in immersive storytelling will help create better memories for so many great families in our community.”
Hosting the Heart of Florida United Way Chef’s Gala is one of the many ways Walt Disney World Resort and its Cast Members help serve thousands of Central Florida children and their families in need of improved education, health, income and other basic needs. Through Disney’s support, which also includes millions of dollars raised through an annual fundraising campaign and the expertise of executive board leadership, HFUW is able to positively impact the lives of more than 600,000 deserving children and families.