United Way Gets a “Loan” from Disney Cast Members

Filed in: About WDW, Making a Difference

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Aug. 29, 2013 – World Disney World Resort Cast Members help create magic for guests at Disney parks and resorts everyday. But this fall, two Cast Members are taking their “magical” talents and expertise to the Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW), where they will assist the nonprofit during its annual fundraising campaign.

Ian Craig, a manager for group sales and Beth Terray, a human resources manager, join a team of loaned executives recruited by HFUW from dozens of local companies. After receiving intensive training from the region’s most comprehensive health and human services organization, they’ll spend three months helping more than 450 local businesses implement their United Way workplace campaigns.

“The Loaned Executive Programs is a win-win opportunity,” said Robert Haight, senior vice president of development for HFUW. “Heart of Florida United Way and Central Florida gain when imaginative, dedicated and respected individuals share their talents with the community. At the same time, these leaders learn new skills, strengthen relationships within the community and get a better understanding of their collective impact within our community.”

Since 1992, Disney has loaned a total of 83 Cast Members to serve in this capacity at HFUW.

“I am very excited to be selected as one of two United Way loaned executives from Walt Disney World Resort,” said Craig. “This experience will be a wonderful opportunity to share my passion and commitment to the local community.”

In addition to loaning Cast Members to assist the agency, Walt Disney World supports HFUW by hosting and sponsoring Chef’s Gala, which serves as the nonprofit’s largest fundraising event. Cast Members also donate nearly $3 million annually to the organization, making Walt Disney World its largest corporate contributor.

Last year, the nonprofit raised $17.5 million to support 50 partner agencies through 70 local programs across Central Florida.