Disney World recognizes their VoluntEARS year-round, but once a year the company honors the top VoluntEARS of the year. The Top VoluntEAR, VoluntEAR Team, and VoluntEAR family get to each select a nonprofit organization to receive a $2,500 grant.
This year’s VoluntEARS of the year were surprised and recognized in a ceremony held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort on May 7.
The 2019 VoluntEARs of the Year:
VoluntEAR of the Year:
Debbie Weber, assistant operations manager on the animal nutrition center management team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Debbie volunteered a total of 354 hours in 2018, taking her passion for nature into the Central Florida community by gathering supplies for animal care, tending to butterfly gardens at Lake Louisa State Park and educating fellow Cast Members on how to become a Disney VoluntEAR.
Debbie chose to gift her $2,500 grant to The Friends of Lake Louisa State Park, a nonprofit organization that supports the preservation and protection of Lake Louisa State Park. In addition to being a board member for the organization, Debbie also frequently dedicates her time volunteering at the 4,372-acre park.
VoluntEARS Team of the Year:
Revenue Management and Analytics team, Walt Disney World Resort
This team of 16 Cast Members participated in more than 20 VoluntEARS events together throughout 2018 and united to support various causes, including gathering more than 800 toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive over the holiday season and collecting more than 2,300 items for Walt Disney World Resort’s annual Back-to-School Drive benefiting A Gift For Teaching.
The team is also an active supporter of Quest, Inc.’s Camp Thunderbird — an organization that provides care-giving and recreational programs to children and adults with development disabilities — and has identified that organization as the recipient of their $2,500 grant.
VoluntEAR Family of the Year:
Jordan Baszner, education manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, and family
The Baszner family completed more than 300 volunteer hours in 2018. Jordan works with his family to maintain a Purple Martin habitat in his family’s neighborhood and educate neighbors and local students on species conservation.
Through volunteering together, the Baszner family has developed an even stronger bond and a shared passion for serving others. This inspired their decision to gift their $2,500 grant to Embrace Families, an organization that shares a long-standing relationship with Disney and offers support and services to children in need to ensure they receive the brightest possible future.
Together, the entire Walt Disney World Resort VoluntEARS team dedicated more than 360,000 hours of service to the Central Florida community.
Have you seen the VoluntEARS in action, or are you a VoluntEAR? Let us know in the comments!
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