Coalition for the Homeless Receives Disney’s Top Grants Award

ORLANDO, Fla., May 12, 2009 – Shining a spotlight on services for homeless children in our region, the Walt Disney World Resort recognized the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida with its top Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants honor – the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award – for the second year in a row.

Mickey Mouse, along with Walt Disney World Resort president Meg Crofton, Allen family members and other Disney dignitaries arrived at the Coalition’s facilities on Monday with a prize patrol to award $60,000 to the non-profit’s child development programs which aim to instill values such as trust, honesty, integrity, responsibility, personal power and self-esteem.

“It’s humbling and a great honor to be recognized for our work with families,” said Brent Trotter, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. “Families with children are the fastest-growing portion of the homeless population in Central Florida today. We’ve created a wide variety of services to meet the unique needs of the growing number of children who call the Coalition home, and are happy to have the support of Disney in our mission.”

Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants celebrates those who commit their time and talent to making a difference in the lives of Central Florida’s children. One of its top awards – the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award – honors the late Bob Allen, who started his career at Disneyland in 1955 and ended his tenure with a decade-long period as vice president of Walt Disney World Resort. After his death in 1987, Allen’s family formed an endowment fund that assists local social service, environmental and humanitarian organizations.

During the next two weeks, Disney will send prize patrols across Central Florida to surprise, reward and recognize a total of 34 Disney’s Helping Kids Shine Grants recipients chosen by a panel of judges made up of Central Florida community leaders and Walt Disney World Cast Members. Prize patrol reports and pictures will be posted on so you can follow along on the journey across Central Florida and track the total giving.

To learn more about the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, visit:

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Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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