LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and Merlin’s Magic Wand Donating 20,000 Tickets to Benefit Florida Kids Impacted by Hurricane Irma Print
UNICEF Kid Power, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs to Distribute Vacation Destination’s Largest-Ever Gift to Children in Need
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WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (Sept. 28, 2017) — To lift the spirits of Florida children in the wake of Hurricane Irma, LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will donate 18,000 theme park tickets to the UNICEF Kid Power Schools program and 2,000 tickets to Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs, the Central Florida vacation destination announced today.
Made in conjunction with Merlin’s Magic Wand, the global charity of LEGOLAND parent company Merlin Entertainments (LONDON:MERL), the total donation is valued at more than $1.8 million. It represents the largest ticket giveaway in the resort’s nearly six-year history and is intended to brighten the lives of the storm-battered state’s youngest residents.
“As a resort built for kids, we felt compelled to do something special for Florida’s children after Hurricane Irma, which left so many households facing months of recovery,” said Rex Jackson, general manager of LEGOLAND Florida Resort. “While we can’t turn the power back on for those families, we can put smiles on their faces.”
The resort will donate 18,000 tickets to the UNICEF Kid Power Schools Program, a teacher-led experience that incorporates lessons and activities with the world’s first Wearable-for-Good®. In the spring of 2017, more than 200 educators participated in Kid Power’s lifesaving journey. More than 80 percent of students reached with the UNICEF Kid Power program in Florida are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Participating teachers will distribute two tickets per student, which is intended to allow each child to visit the Winter Haven, Fla., theme park with a parent or guardian.
“From UNICEF’s 70 years of work in emergencies and in schools around the world, we know the importance of ‘play’ and free time in helping kids heal from stressful situations, such as a natural disaster,” said Jeanette Duffy, UNICEF Kid Power program director. “This is a fantastic chance for these Florida students to just be kids!”
In Polk County, which LEGOLAND Florida Resort has called home since opening in October 2011, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs will receive 2,000 tickets for distribution to the children it serves through sites in Winter Haven, Haines City and Lake Wales.
Since 1954, the organization has worked to better the lives of children throughout the county’s eastern communities, with programs focused on character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports and fitness, and technology skills.
“This will be such a tremendous treat for our kids,” said Kerry Wilson, the organization’s president and board chair. “Kids who seldom have the opportunity to go to a wonderful place like LEGOLAND.”
Curtis Reddick, chief professional officer for Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs, said the donation “gives our kids and their parents time to spend a fun-filled day together.”
LEGOLAND Florida Resort features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions inspired by popular LEGO® and DUPLO® brands, including experiences based on “The LEGO Movie™,” LEGO NINJAGO®, LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS™, LEGO City, LEGO Technic and LEGO Friends, plus LEGOLAND Water Park and on-site accommodations in a variety of whimsical LEGO themes. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida.
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About LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Built for kids 2-12, this multi-day vacation destination located just 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa includes an interactive, 150-acre theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions inspired by popular LEGO brands and characters, plus LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. LEGOLAND Florida Resort is part of the Merlin Entertainments Group (LONDON: MERL). For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com/florida.
About Merlin’s Magic Wand
Merlin’s Magic Wand is a worldwide charity that has helped nearly half a million children and their families enjoy a magical day out at more than 120 Merlin Entertainments attractions, including LEGOLAND theme parks, the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye, SEA LIFE aquariums and the Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions. In addition, Merlin’s Magic Wand also creates Merlin’s Magic Spaces projects to brighten the lives of children unable to visit a Merlin attraction. For more information about its U.S. efforts, visit www.merlinsmagicwand.org/USA.
About the UNICEF Kid Power Schools Program
UNICEF Kid Power has more than 170,000 students from around the country participating in the UNICEF Kid Power Schools Program – a teacher-led experience that’s getting students on Missions to complete lessons and activities, and learning about the different cultures and countries where UNICEF is helping children. To learn more, visit schools.unicefkidpower.org.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first and help save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children, providing them with immunizations, education, medicine, emergency relief and clean water. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States.
About Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs
Boys & Girls Club programs build character through everyday leadership and guidance in behavior and attitude. Young people of all races, nationalities and creeds join together in positive and productive recreation, adventure, exploration and learning. Since 1954, Citrus Center Boys & Girls Clubs have been serving children throughout eastern Polk County. For more information, visit www.ccbgc.com.