Raise the woof! Walt Disney World cast members took home the top fundraising spot once again at Paws in the Park, raising more than $9.3K for the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando and pets in need at its annual community event. Led by “pack leader” and Disney cast member Stephanie Arnett, the “Disney Dogs Pack” – or, as we usually call them, Disney VoluntEARS – have earned this award for 14 of the last 16 years.
“Disney is such an integral part of the Central Florida community, and our participation in events like this shows that we care about creating magic beyond our park gates, helping our neighbors and their furry friends too,” said Stephanie.
As the owner of a rescue dog, Stephanie is one of many cast members who has a personal passion for helping the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando in its mission to find permanent homes for thousands of homeless animals, offer low-cost veterinary care and manage animal intake at its shelters.
“I love participating in and getting cast involved with this event and the Disney VoluntEARS program,” said Stephanie. “Not only does it provide cast with a great way to connect with each other, but it’s also nice to be able to connect with members in our community and make a difference in their lives.”
EPCOT cast member Elise couldn’t agree more – she brought together some of the Food & Beverage team from the Norway Pavilion and joined the Pack so they could bond as a team and spend time outside of our parks and in the local community.
“My team was looking for Disney VoluntEARS opportunities to participate in together, and when we found Paws in the Park, we knew it would be a great way to introduce our Cultural Representatives from Norway to Orlando,” Elise said. “This event was a hit with our team and really warmed our hearts. In fact, we are already looking at more events to participate in soon.”
With the Disney VoluntEARS hours earned at this event, some cast members – like Stephanie – officially reached 50 hours of giving back during the 50th Anniversary celebration, joining more than 1,400 other cast members in completing the 50 for 50 Disney VoluntEARS Challenge. As part of this special challenge, cast have dedicated more than 233,000 hours to volunteer efforts with nonprofit organizations across Central Florida since Oct. 1, 2021 – talk about a major impact!
Taking this impact one step further, cast can turn their earned volunteer hours into charitable contributions through our Disney VoluntEARS Grants program. Through this awesome program, the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is the third-top recipient of Disney VoluntEARS Grants submitted by cast.
“The Disney VoluntEARS Program keeps us connected to our community and helps our neighbors in an impactful way,” said Chirag, one of the top fundraisers in the Disney Dogs Pack. “I take great pride in being part of a company that does this so often, and events like Paws in the Park makes being a cast member extremely fulfilling.”
As you can see, bringing the positive power of Disney out into the community is a huge part of the #DisneyCastLife, and our Disney VoluntEARS do a dog-gone great job of creating meaningful and lasting memories with our neighbors … including our four-legged friends.
A massive round-of-a-paws to the entire “Disney Dogs Pack!”