Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Scam charity called Marines and Mickey "founder" guilty!

Marine veteran running scam charity targeting Marine families pleads guilty to wire fraud

Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow  
April 2, 2019
From 2014–2016, Simpson raised nearly $481,000, but court documents said he pocketed $391,000 for his own “personal use and enrichment.”

Disney's Mickey and Minnie share a moment with a Marine's child during the Horton Plaza holiday celebration in San Diego, Nov. 30, 2010. A Marine veteran running a scam charity called Marines and Mickey pleaded guilty to wire fraud, according to the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

Disney's Mickey and Minnie share a moment with a Marine's child during the Horton Plaza holiday celebration in San Diego, Nov. 30, 2010.
John Shannon Simpson faces 20 years in prison or and/or a fine of $250,000, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Sherri A. Lydon, District of South Carolina.

Feds say the 43 year-old founder of the charity bilked people into donating money to help send Marines and families to Disney resorts and to cover the cost of attending boot camp graduation.

Victims of the scam included active-duty Marines, and Cathy Wells, whose son, Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, was killed in the 2015 attack on the military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer.

According to court documents, Wells gave nearly $135,000 dollars to the charity, some from her son’s death benefits.

read more here

Monday, February 19, 2018

Youth Hockey Teams step up for Special Needs child's Disney trip

Indiana veteran, daughter with special needs headed to Disney World thanks to hockey teams
Trevor Shirley
February 17, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A central Indiana veteran with a special needs child is getting the thrill of a lifetime, and it’s all thanks to some youth hockey teams.

On Saturday, Steve Scroghan learned he’ll finally get to give his daughter the gift she’s been asking for.

“Still trying to process it,” said Scroghan. “It’s an honor.”

The retired Army veteran and his family received the honor Saturday after some local hockey teams teamed up to raise money for the charity Wish For Our Heroes.

“It was really cool. You get to be a part of something that makes somebody so happy,” said Erich Orrick, the president of Wish For Our Heroes.

Scroghan said his daughter, who has special needs, has been wanting to visit Disney World for a long time, but tight finances made it tough.
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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Disney CEO Bob Iger Receives Navy SEAL Foundation Honor

Disney CEO Bob Iger Receives Navy SEAL Foundation Honor, Recognizes Soldiers
Malina Saval
Associated Editor
June 2, 2017
The Los Angeles Evening of Tribute benefiting the Navy SEAL Foundation raised $4 million for the organization’s Naval Special Warfare community, which provides financial, emotional, and therapeutic support for wounded soldiers and families of fallen post-9/11 veterans.

Bob Iger, Walt Disney chair and CEO, was feted with the Navy SEAL Foundation’s patriot award at the Thursday night soiree, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. “Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, a former recipient of the award, was there to present Iger with the honor, as well as master of ceremonies Jimmy Kimmel.

Additional guests included producer Brian Grazer, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, actress Zoe Saldana, New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft — who donated $100,000 at the event — U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, and keynote speaker Leon E. Panetta, former CIA director and U.S. secretary of defense. David Foster was also on hand to provide musical entertainment.

“We must never fail to recognize the sacrifices made by soldiers on our behalf,” said Iger, whose Work Here campaign has placed nearly 26,000 returning veterans in company-wide jobs. “My father served in the Navy in World War II. Back then war was an appreciated sacrifice. In Vietnam, the soldiers came back to a deeply divided nation. Every generation of veterans deserves a lifetime of gratitude.”
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Invictus Games Update

First gold medal of Invictus Games goes to 9-11 survivor
Orlando Sentinel
Stephen Ruiz
May 9, 2016

American Sarah Rudder kisses the 2 gold medals she earned Monday at the Invictus Games at Disney World. (Alex Menendez/Getty Images for Invictus Games)
It was a big day for Sarah Rudder. She was getting promoted in front of the Pentagon.

The date was Sept. 11, 2001.

"We were pulling survivors out at first,'' said Rudder, a retired lance corporal in the U.S. Marines. "The next day, I went to pull non-survivors, and upon pulling non-survivors, I crushed my [left] ankle. I had several reconstructive surgeries, but they couldn't save the leg.''

It seemed appropriate Monday that Rudder claimed the first gold medal awarded at the first Invictus Games on American soil. She won it in women's lightweight powerlifting and later added another gold in indoor rowing.
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Army Nurse Takes Pride in Representing Team USA at Invictus Games
DoD News
By Shannon Collins
Defense Media Activity
May 10, 2016
“I’m grateful for my family to be present to watch me compete, especially having my daughter in attendance for this year’s games, since she wasn’t able to attend the inaugural games,” she said. “These games are very personal for me, given my military career and background, and it’s a blessing to have my family in attendance to experience how much these games mean to me.”
Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger performs laps in her race wheelchair at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, while training for the 2015 Department of Defense Warrior Games, June 11, 2015. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

ORLANDO, Fla., May 10, 2016 — Fierce competitor Army Capt. Kelly Elmlinger will participate in track and field, swimming and rowing at the 2016 Invictus Games being held this week at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World here.

During the 2014 Invictus Games, Elmlinger’s first foray into the competition, she earned gold medals in the 100-meter and 400-meter wheelchair races, the shot put, and in the cycling time trial; silver medals in discus during track and field, the cycling road race, and the 50-meter backstroke in swimming. She took fourth place in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle in swimming.
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At Invictus Games, athletes forge powerful friendships in beating adversity
Stars and Stripes
Dianna Cahn
May 10, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — They didn’t know each other when one was blown up and the other was shot a year apart in southern Afghanistan.

By the time they met at a wounded warrior competition, retired Air Force Tech Sgt. Leonard Anderson was missing one arm below the elbow and all but one finger on his other hand. Air Force Staff Sgt. August O'Niell had endured at least a dozen surgeries.

Their lives have intertwined ever since.

They train and compete together. Anderson was there for O'Niell’s leg amputation and again when his daughter was born. O'Niell was there when Anderson, missing his hands, had no choice but to retire from the Air Force.

And when Anderson prepares for the swimming finals at the Invictus Games on Wednesday, his buddy will be there to help him to pull on his Speedo.

Their friendship is the story of these warrior games, where the fierce determination needed to get here comes with a disarming vulnerability. That’s a tough pill to swallow for these guys, but it forges deep friendships and a camaraderie among competitors like none other in the world.
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Sunday, May 8, 2016

President Bush and Prince Harry Talk About Invisible Wounds At Invictus

Bush, Prince Harry highlight invisible wounds at Invictus
Orlando Sentinel
Paul Brinkmann
May 8, 2016

Del Toro was burned severely over much of his body and lost fingers in 2005 in Afghanistan. But he said psychological wounds were also very real. He said the military and his health-care team treated his visible wounds, but "my family dealt with my invisible wounds."
Bush underscored a major theme of the day when he suggested dropping the D from the end of PSTD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). "We don't view it as a disorder we view it as an injury," Bush said during a panel discussion.
Britain's Prince Harry joined former President George W. Bush Sunday afternoon on Disney World property to present and showcase ideas on how society can help military personnel overcome mental and emotional wounds after returning from active service.

The event took place just before the official opening of the international Invictus Games for wounded warriors, which is taking place this week at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports. Brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other "invisible" wounds were front and center.

The symposium brought a large international crowd to Disney's Shades of Green resort, an official U.S. Armed Forces Recreation Center Resort.

More than 500 competitors from 14 nations are competing in archery, cycling, indoor rowing, power lifting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Stolen Valor Case Involves Marines and Mickey?

Skip Wells Foundation Severs Ties with Marines and Mickey Charity

Marietta, GA — Representatives of a foundation that raises money in the name of a July 16th shooting victim say they no longer wish to be associated with another charitable organization.

In the months since the death of Lance Corporal Skip Wells, the Skip Wells Foundation has worked hand in hand with the Marines and Mickey Foundation to help the charity raise money, but now they say questions about the founder's integrity have forced them to back out of the partnership.

In a post on Facebook, the Skip Wells Foundation announced it had "disassociated itself from any and all relationships with the Marines & Mickey foundation."

Marine Reconnaissance Foundation
on Sunday

This is one of the worst cases of stolen valor we have seen to date. John Simpson is the Founder of the Marines and Mickey Foundation.

Claimed to be a Recon Master Sergeant with 4 deployments to Afghanistan and a Marine Corps Drill Instructor. John Simpson claimed he was a Force Recon Marine with 2nd Recon Bn. He also claims he spent 20 years in the Marine Corps. None of which is true and has been verified.

LCpl Skipp Wells was killed in the Chattanooga, TN shooting on July 16th, 2015. After the attack John Simpson came along with the Marines and Mickey Foundation and took over $135,000 from the Mother of Lance Corporal Wells.

John Simpson was reduced to E-1 Private, and received a Bad Conduct Discharge from the Marines. His job specialty in the Marines before discharge was an Admin Clerk.

Please Share
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Disney Finest Hours Honors Coast Guard

“The Finest Hours” celebrates a heroic, near impossible Coast Guard rescue — one of many in Coast Guard history
FRIDAY, JAN 29, 2016
From New Orleans after Katrina to a daring San Francisco Bay rescue, up-from-below leadership took center stage
In the book turned Disney action movie ‘The Finest Hours,” due out Jan. 29, Chris Pine plays real-life Coast Guard hero Bernie Webber. In February 1952 Webber and his crew of three saved 32 of 33 sailors trapped on the stern end of the Pendleton, a ship that split in two during a historic storm off New England. The Pendleton was one of two war-surplus tankers that were torn asunder by the monster storm’s 40-60-foot waves. Webber’s seamanship running his 36-foot motor lifeboat through snow-blown surf and making a near impossible rescue quickly earned him a place in the annals of gold-medal lifesaving.

Still, his rescue is just one of many in Coast Guard history. Its ranks of heroes who’ve pulled off similar amazing feats range from Alaska’s “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy to North Carolina’s Rasmus Midgett and Richard Etheridge to Rhode Island Lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis to the aviators and small boat crews who surged into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast following 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, saving 33,000 lives.
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Anaheim Officer Gave Veteran More to be Thankful For

Anaheim Police Officer Being Praised For Going Beyond Call Of Duty
CBS Los Angeles
December 30, 2015
“I certainly didn’t want them to miss Thanksgiving dinner with their family,” Garcia said he made it his personal mission to help after learning that Dan was a military veteran who battles post-traumatic stress disorder. He does not handle stress well. “I just have the utmost respect for veterans,” the officer said.
ANAHEIM ( — An Anaheim police officer is being praised for going beyond the call of duty for helping an Oregon family on vacation at Disneyland.

Dan Singer, his wife, their three children and his mother were vacationing at the theme park resort on Thanksgiving week. On Thanksgiving day as the Singers were getting ready to drive north to Torrance to visit relatives, they came to find that their SUV was burglarized.

The black Chevy Suburban was parked in the lot of Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel, where the thief or thieves had broken through the back window and stolen third-row seats.

“We actually paid quite a bit of money from the hotel to park there,” said Deborah Singer. “We felt very stranded. We felt very helpless.”
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MOH Capt. Florent Groberg receives tribute at Disneyland

VIDEO: Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg receives tribute at Disneyland
OC Register
Mark Eades
Nov. 22, 2015

Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg got to go to Disneyland on Saturday. He was there to be honored by the Disneyland Resort at its Flag Retreat Ceremony.

Captain Groberg received the Medal of Honor from President Obama on November 12, 2015, for actions in saving lives in Afghanistan in August 2012.

According to the mission report, Groberg was assigned as part of a security detachment for Task Force Mountain Warrior, which was responsible for the safety of 28 coalition military personnel, and civilian officers.
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Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg honored at Disneyland

Friday, November 6, 2015

MOH Sammy Davis Gets Star Treatment at Disneyland

Disneyland Honors 'Real' Forrest Gump, MoH Recipient Sammy Lee Davis
Orange County Register
by Keith Sharon
Nov 06, 2015

He rescued three fellow soldiers and earned the Medal of Honor for his heroic effort in Vietnam.

He played football in high school, worked on a fishing boat and once gave a speech on the mall in Washington, D.C., about the importance of bringing home prisoners of war. He'll call you "sir" or "ma'am" and tell you about Freedom, Indiana, where the only traffic signal is a flashing yellow light. He doesn't live in Freedom (Population: 400), but about five miles outside town.

"It's way too congested," he said.

His name is not Forrest Gump, although he is truly Gumpian. Footage of him receiving his Medal of Honor from President Lyndon Johnson was used in the 1994 movie that won Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Hanks. If you search on the Internet for the "real Forrest Gump," you will see his name.

"My name is Sammy Lee Davis," he said. "Not Samuel or Sam. It says Sammy on my birth certificate. They didn't use my name, but that movie is based on me."

Davis was honored Thursday during Disneyland's daily flag retreat when the sun went down. The Disneyland band played. The Dapper Dans sang. And Davis was joined by other veterans, who stood and saluted as the flags were folded.

"Pride is the utmost emotion I'm feeling right now," Davis said at the conclusion of the ceremony. He was accompanied by his wife, Dixie, and his granddaughters Katelynn Smith and Sami Johnson.
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If you don't know who Sammy Davis is, this will fill you in on just how amazing he is.

A few years ago Sammy was at a fundraiser and agreed to sit down for a while with Dixie. Listen to what happened when Sammy came home as the MOH Citation was read.

Then keep all that in mind when you hear the advice he has for PTSD.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dark Side of Disney Unauthorized Film "Keep Moving Forward"

See 'The Dark Side Of Disney' At The Logan Thursday Night
OCT 27, 2015

The Dark Side of Disney and the preview of Keep Moving Forward begin at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Logan. Tickets can be purchased online via this link, or at the theater if the event is not sold out.

Needless to say, this is a strictly unauthorized Disney doc, so it might make a nicely twisted double feature with the 2013 narrative film, Escape from Tomorrow (filmed without permission at the amusement park). But Thursday The Dark Side of Disney will be part of a different twin bill, paired with a rough cut of the documentary short, Keep Moving Forward, about a veteran who finds relief from post-traumatic stress disorder though a heavy dose of Disney.
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Friday, December 12, 2014

Soldier Dad Welcomed Home For Christmas Wish

Soldier Fulfills Daughter’s Wish At ESPN Wide World of Sports
ESPN Sports

Published on Dec 8, 2014

One year ago 9-year-old Adisen Kallas made a wish with her family in front of Cinderella Castle. She wished that her dad, Navy SEABEE UT1 Scott Kallas, would return from deployment in Afghanistan in time to watch her dance at the 2014 Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. At that time Scott was preparing for his fifth military deployment.

Well Adisen, wishes do come true.

What happened on Saturday after Adisen and the Mighty Might Tri Town Raiderettes dance team from Schererville, IN, performed was nothing short of magical. It is a moment you will want to watch for yourself.

Welcome home Scott Kallas. Thank you for serving our country and showing all of us that wishes do come true

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bouncing Marines Frozen Chosen

VIDEO: Marines Freak Out While Watching Frozen's 'Let It Go'
PEOPLE Magazine
UPDATED 05/02/2014
John Travolta may not know who Idina Menzel is, but we're guessing these Marines do.

In this video posted on Facebook by Bill Nuche, a Marine in Bryan, Texas, a group of the country's bravest sing along to the ubiquitous tune "Let It Go" while watching the hit movie Frozen.

There is so much to enjoy here: their off-key singing along to Menzel's vocals, the fact that they know the lyrics, their spirit fingers ...

"Ok this is what happens when you let a bunch of marines watch 'Frozen,'" Nuche wrote in a caption to the video on Tuesday. "They are all waiting for a specific part at about 2:20 in."
read more here

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gary Sinise tribute to Vietnam Veterans at Epcot

Gary Sinise tribute to Vietnam Veterans at Epcot
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 1, 2013

Every year for the last 7 years, I have traveled to Epcot for their Candlelight Procession. For the last couple of years I have gone with Markham Woods Presbyterian Church. This was the first year I was able to hear Gary Sinise tell the Christmas story.

As soon as he took center position, someone yelled out "Lt. Dan" and right away he responded with "life is like a box of chocolates" as the crowed cracked up.

Disney Epcot November 30, 2013

Gary Sinise

At the end of the performance, Gary talked about Vietnam veterans and how honored he felt to play the role of Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump.

So to my Vietnam veteran buddies, know that you are not forgotten and judging by the response from the crowd last night, very much appreciated! Enjoy the videos.
Gary Sinise tribute Vietnam Veterans
December 1, 2013
For the 7th year I was able to go with a choir to Epcot for the Candlelight program. This was the first year I saw Gary Sinise perform. He was fantastic but at the end of the show, he gave a moving tribute to Vietnam veterans.

Rejoice in Sign Language
Dec 1, 2013
Last night was the 7th year of being able to watch Disney Candlelight at Epcot. This woman is fabulous. She delivers the sign language with amazing zeal.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Michelle Obama encourages businesses to hire veterans in Disney speech

Michelle Obama encourages businesses to hire veterans in Disney speech
Workshop helps to find work for vets
WESH 2 News
By Gail Paschall-Brown
Nov 14, 2013

ORLANDO, Fla. —First Lady Michelle Obama was the keynote speaker at the Disney Veterans Institute on Thursday to talk about veterans and jobs.

Michelle Obama will be speaking at the Veterans Institute Workshop in Orlando on Nov. 14.

It was a one-day seminar where the theme park giant and other leaders shared information to help companies build their own veteran-hiring programs.
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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ABC News' Bob Woodruff to Give a Keynote for Disney's Veterans Institute

ABC News' Bob Woodruff to Give a Keynote Address at Disney's 'Veterans Institute' Workshop

Free 'Veterans Institute' program is designed to encourage and support hiring of military veterans

Oct 07, 2013

Disney will share expertise from its 'Heroes Work Here' initiative with other companies to help them build their own veteran-hiring programs

ABC News Anchor Bob Woodruff will give a keynote address at Disney's first-ever 'Veterans Institute' workshop on November 14, 2013. Building on its successful Heroes Work Here initiative to hire, train and support military veterans, Disney will host the free Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World Resort to inspire other companies to employ servicemen and women transitioning to the private sector.

On January 29, 2006, while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji, Iraq. In February 2007, just 13 months after being wounded in Iraq, Woodruff returned to ABC News with his first on-air report, "To Iraq and Back: Bob Woodruff Reports." The hour-long, primetime documentary chronicled his traumatic brain injury (TBI), his painstaking recovery and the plight of thousands of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with similar injuries. Woodruff continues to cover traumatic brain injuries for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms and was honored with a Peabody Award in 2008 for his reporting on the subject.

In February 2007, Woodruff and his wife, Lee, co-wrote a bestselling memoir, In an Instant, chronicling his injuries in Iraq and how their family persevered through a time of intense trauma and uncertainty. The Woodruff family established the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) to raise money to assist injured service members, veterans and their families.

"Returning veterans need tools and opportunities in order to move onto the next chapter in their lives. I'm pleased to participate in an event that enables companies to reach out to these heroes so that they can thrive after they return home," said Mr. Woodruff.
About Disney's Heroes Work Here

Supporting the U.S. Armed Forces has long been a Disney tradition, and Disney's Heroes Work Here continues that proud legacy with a company-wide initiative to hire, train and support military veterans. Disney introduced the program in March, 2012 with a commitment to hire at least 1,000 veterans by 2015. Having exceeded that goal in the first year alone, with 1,300 veterans hired, the company announced in March, 2013 that it would create opportunities for another 1,000 former service members over the next two years.

Disney's Heroes Work Here initiative also features a public awareness campaign to encourage employers across the U.S. to hire former military service members. The campaign includes the free Veterans Institute workshop at Walt Disney World on November 14, 2013, as well as public service announcements highlighting the skills and experience of veterans who work at Disney. The PSAs direct viewers to the White House's Joining Forces initiative ( and have aired across Disney's media properties including ESPN, ABC and ABC Family, making more than 500 million impressions.

The third component of Disney's Heroes Work Here initiative is philanthropy. Disney's philanthropic support of veteran and military organizations has exceeded $1 million since the launch of Heroes Work Here, and through the Disney VoluntEARS program, employees have engaged in several service projects with veterans organizations in communities around the country.
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Disney thinks the word "veteran" is too offensive for a T-Shirt?

Disney picked the wrong side to fight against on this one. Californian is the state with the most veterans and Disney is there. The number three state is Florida and Disney is here as well. Top that off with the fact that veterans, all 7% of them among the rest of the population, did something Disney should actually value enough to allow them to put the word "veteran" on a t-shirt.

This came to the public's attention because a Vietnam veteran wanted to put it on a t-shirt of his grandsons. Think about that for a second. Then this veteran used to hearing really stupid things in the last 40 years when they were greeted by idiots, is showing he isn't ashamed of anything except Disney right now.

Word "veteran" not allowed on Disney T-shirt
Sept. 13, 2013

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Walt Disney World is on a big push to hire veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

One Vietnam veteran reached out to Channel 9's Steve Barrett for help when a Disney cast member wouldn't let him make a "veteran" T-shirt.

Retired army Colonel Dale Sindt showed his pride as a veteran years ago when he bought custom shirts at a Downtown Disney store for his twin grandsons that read, "My papa is a Vietnam veteran."

When the boys outgrew the shirts he was shocked when he tried to replace them.

"We went to print them out and the lady said, 'I'm sorry, we can't print those.' And we asked her why and she said, 'Our legal department said its offensive to people,'" Sindt said.

He couldn't believe it so he protested in writing and got a call back from Disney management.
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Friday, June 1, 2012

Brendan Haas gives Disney to fallen soldier's family

Boy Who Donated Disney Trip to Soldier’s Family Wins Vacation of His Own
By ABC News
May 31, 2012
ABC News’ Linsey Davis and Lauren Sher

Nine-year-old Brendan Haas, who spent three months trading things so he could win a vacation to Disney World and then gave it away to a girl whose father was killed in Afghanistan, was surprised with his own Walt Disney World trip today on “Good Morning America.”

To reward Brendan for his generosity, the Disney Company, the parent company of ABC, awarded Brendan’s family with an all-expense paid trip of their own, and made Brendan an “honorary citizen of Walt Disney World.”

But instead of accepting the trip, Brendan said he wanted to pay it forward yet again and that he’d be able to find another family of a fallen soldier who deserves it.

“We can’t accept a trip to Disney but we have many more people who would like to have an all-expenses paid [trip] …so we can do another raffle,” he said today from his home in Kingston, Mass.
read more here

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Cinderella, Snow White and Tinkerbell" among others arrested at Disney

"Tinkerbell" Busted At Disneyland
Demonstrators Dress As Disney Characters In Labor Protest At Amusement Park; 32 Arrested
Comments 105
ANAHEIM, Calif. , Aug. 15, 2008
(AP) Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell and other fictional fixtures of modern-day childhood were handcuffed, frisked and loaded into police vans Thursday at the culmination of a labor protest that brought a touch of reality to the Happiest Place on Earth.

The arrest of the 32 protesters, many of whom wore costumes representing famous Disney characters, came at the end of an hour-long march to Disneyland's gates from one of three Disney-owned hotels at the center of a labor dispute.

Those who were arrested sat in a circle on a busy intersection outside the park holding hands until they were placed in plastic handcuffs and led to two police vans while hundreds of hotel workers cheered and chanted.

The protesters were arrested on a misdemeanor count of failure to obey a police officer and two traffic infractions, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim police. They were cited and released, Sgt. Chris Schneider said.

Bewildered tourists in Disney T-shirts and caps, some pushing strollers, filed past the commotion and gawked at the costumed picketers getting hauled away. The protest shut down a major thoroughfare outside Disneyland and California Adventure for nearly an hour.

"It's changing my opinion of Disneyland," said tourist Amanda Kosato, who was visiting from north of Melbourne, Australia. "Taking away entitlements stinks."
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Disney Pixie dust deployed to Walter Reed Hospital

Trying Some Disney Attitude to Help Cure Walter ReedBy Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 25, 2008; Page B01

Fifty medical workers -- doctors, nurses, therapists and administrators among them -- sat in a room at Walter Reed Army Medical Center gazing at a slide of Donald Duck on a screen.

The oft-cranky Disney cartoon character, wearing his blue sailor jacket and cap, was in a palpable rage. His webbed feet had lifted off the ground, his beak was gaping, and his white-gloved hands were tightly clutching an old-fashioned two-piece telephone.

"We can clearly see he's frustrated," said Kris Lafferty, a trainer for the Disney Institute who was leading workers at the Northwest Washington hospital last week in a four-hour seminar on customer service. "Why do we think he's frustrated?"

A year after a scandal erupted over the long-term treatment of soldiers at the hospital, the Army has turned to Disney for help. "Service, Disney Style" is newly required for all military and other government employees at Walter Reed.

Lafferty and her fellow Disney trainer, Mike Donnelly, handed out little plastic Goofy and Mickey Mouse figurines as they led Wednesday afternoon's discussion with the workers -- some in uniform, some in scrubs, some in civilian clothes.

Various theories were offered for Donald Duck's ire: He was getting the run-around. He could not get a question answered. He was flummoxed by his antique phone.

The lesson: Poor service equals frustration.

At the tables, heads nodded in agreement. It's a familiar story at Walter Reed, where wounded soldiers and their families often confront a numbing bureaucracy.

The Army is paying Disney $800,000 to help revamp attitudes at the hospital.
click post title for the rest

What kind of a stunt is this and how bad could it have been they had to hire Disney to train them on how to treat people?

"It sounds a little odd, but it's true," said Rear Adm. John Mateczun, commander of a joint task force overseeing military medicine in the Washington region.

So why didn't they just ask the people who run Fisher House how to treat the wounded better?

Col. Patricia D. Horoho, commander of the Walter Reed health-care system, said the goal is to change the culture there. "When you enter the hospital, we want it to be the best experience possible," she said. "Disney fits that.

The goal is to change the culture there? Are they serious? Can they have treated wounded veterans that badly they needed this for real?

Up until now I thought the problems at Walter Reed had more to do with being under funded. A lot of the problems came when Walter Reed was on the block to be shut down. As stupid as that was, that was the excuse behind the deplorable conditions there. Now I'm wondering how bad the attitude of the staff was toward the wounded they would need to pay out $800,000 to fix it?

If the DOD really wanted to change attitudes they need to begin with the units these wounded come from first. TBI and PTSD are still regarded as something to be ashamed of. Considering they used a cartoon to try to communicate the seriousness of PTSD while providing absolutely nothing substantial, they really should have hired Disney to provide a better one. If they are serious about changing attitudes then they should seek out the real professionals who have been taking care of the wounded with privately funded places like Fisher House. Needless to remind people that Fisher House wouldn't have to be there if the DOD and the VA had their own acts together to do it right in the first place.

Excuse me if this report makes me furious but considering when I read the title I thought it was about coming out with entertainment for the wounded instead of a training session on how to treat the wounded better. You would have thought they would have already known how to do that.