Disney Friends for Change Launches Ambassadors Program


Disney Channel Stars

Disney Channel Stars Debby Ryan (“Jessie”), Bella Thorne and Zendaya (“Shake It Up”), and Ross Lynch and Laura Marano (“Austin & Ally”) Serve as Inaugural Ambassadors

$750,000 in Grants Awarded as Part of Program Launch

BURBANK, Calif., June 18, 2012 – Disney Friends for Change, a global
initiative that inspires kids and families to take action and make a difference
in their communities, today announced that Disney Channel stars Debby Ryan
(“Jessie”), Bella Thorne and Zendaya (“Shake It Up”), and Ross Lynch and Laura
Marano (“Austin & Ally”) will serve as Friends for Change Ambassadors,
encouraging kids and families to make a lasting, positive change by helping
people, communities, and the planet.

In collaboration with select non-profit organizations, Disney Friends for
Change Ambassadors will lead campaigns to engage millions of kids to take action
and volunteer. Each nonprofit will receive a Disney Friends for Change grant to
further the reach and impact of the themed campaign. In total, $750,000 will be
awarded to the following three efforts:

* “Helping Communities – Volunteer,” led by Debby Ryan and in
collaboration with Free The Children (from June 29 – August 16)

* “Helping People – Be a Leader,” featuring Bella Thorne and Zendaya,
and in collaboration with Free The Children (from August 17 – September 27)

* “Helping the Planet – Green Your Scene,” championed by Ross Lynch
and Laura Marano, and in collaboration with TreePeople (from September 28 –
November 30)

“We are so excited about the real difference kids are making every day using
our action kits and volunteering in their communities,” said Leslie Goodman,
senior vice president for Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy at The Walt
Disney Company. “Through the leadership and encouragement of our Disney Friends
for Change Ambassadors, we hope to inspire millions of more kids to take action
and change their worlds.”

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide,
said, “The bond our viewers have with our talent is deep and powerful. As
ambassadors of Friends for Change, our talent can serve as a megaphone for the
importance of pro-active community involvement, motivating kids and their
families to discover the many rewarding ways we can all make our world a better
place to live.” He continued, “I often talk to my team about extending our
value as a company beyond the TV screen, and this initiative does an exemplary
job of that – and for this, I could not be prouder.”

As part of the program, Disney Channel will debut a series of interstitial
messages, featuring the Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors beginning MONDAY,
JUNE 18. Disney Channel, Radio Disney, and
Disney.com will chronicle the Ambassadors throughout the summer as they
volunteer and inspire kids of all ages to lead. Also part of the interstitial
series and debuting FRIDAY, JUNE 29, Debby Ryan will share her personal
experience volunteering in India through Disney Friends for Change with Free The
Children, where she helped build a new school for a local village. Inspired by
the stories and efforts of Disney Friends for Change kids, Debby helped to start
the Ambassadors program.

To coincide with the on-air interstitials, Friends for Change will offer tools
and resources at www.disney.com/friends where
kids and families can discover additional ideas on how to make a difference.
Site visitors are able to download action kits, learn more about the
Ambassadors’ campaigns, and participate in the new Shout Out Module, an online
forum that allows kids and families to motivate each other and exchange tips on
actions to help their schools and neighborhoods. Families can also vote online
to further support each Ambassador’s campaign and help thousands of more kids as
a result.

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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