We have come from everywhere over the past sixty-five plus years. But we all came together working as Cast Members, or their families, or friends or fans at the Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland, California.
As the Disneyland Resort has grown over the years, with new Lands, Park and Hotels, so have our memories. As part of the Disneyland Alumni Club we can still come together and continue to share our special culture and experiences and even new ones as we are Always Part of the Magic!
To Preserve, Honor, and Perpetuate the Values, Traditions, and Outlook upon which Disneyland was created.
This is the opening sentence from the first newsletter of The Disneyland Alumni Club, written by Van A. France, founder of the University of Disneyland and The Disneyland Alumni Club, as well as a Disney Legend. “I created the Alumni Club because Disneyland’s leaders and I wanted to make Disneyland a life-long experience, something that adds to a Cast Member’s life after their work experience here at the Happiest Place on Earth comes to a close,” Van said.
“All Disneyland Cast Members are special. Walt knew that,” explained one of our founders.
“In fact, he said, they have to be special in order to bring to life an outdoor entertainment experience found nowhere else in the world. The Disneyland Alumni Club brings together those special people and helps them all stay in touch with each other, while it preserves, honors, and perpetuates the values, traditions, and outlook upon which Disneyland was created.”
For many years after its founding in 1983, The Disneyland Alumni Club existed as a list in a desk drawer. After Van’s passing in 1999, The Disneyland Alumni Club became self-supporting in 2001.
In 2005, after Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, your all-volunteer leaders recognized the need for a fresh approach and a re-established foundation. Consequently in 2010, The Disneyland Alumni Club became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supported by its members and occasional donations.
Since then, we have been able to host speaker series, a celebration for the Park’s 60th anniversary, screenings, and to add a number of popular new venues.
We’re delighted to say this club continues to grow. We even have our own Facebook page. We tweet too!
While the need for fresh input will always exist, we can confidently say that The Disneyland Alumni Club remains devoted and committed to the original vision of “you can’t take Disneyland out of the person”. The Disneyland Alumni Club is a lifelong connection for former Cast Members.
So, if you haven’t signed up for Club membership yet, please do so today. We’d love to know who you are, where you are, and how we can continue to keep the ever-growing list of Disneyland Alumni connected and Always Part of the Magic!
The Board of Directors
Richard Ferrin – Chair
Ted Yamada – President
Michele Nagata – Secretary
Mark Eades – Treasurer
Executive Directors & Managers
Mark Eades – E-blast Newsletter and Blog Editor
Mary Ann Meirowsky – Merchandise Director
Mark Houck – Events and Marketing Director
Diane Norris – Membership
Peggy Matthews Rose – Facebook Editor and Newsletter Contributor
Donna Sue Davis – Locations Director
Minh Luu – Director of Philanthropy
Steve Davis – Events Coordinator
Jerry Meirowsky – Events Coordinator
Dansen Lipock – Events Coordinator
Scott Phillips – Creative Director
Richard Ferrin – Art Director
One way in which we are “living Walt” is by honoring his love for children through our support of children’s charities.
In the past we have raised funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (also known as CHOC), the Carolwood Society (known by many as the group behind “Walt’s Barn” in Griffith Park), the Rheuben Allen Education Foundation, along with donating toys to “Toys for Tots.”
Throughout the year, we will show you how we can support our current charities in unique ways because you are Always Part of the Magic!
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF LONG BEACH
Leading the list of our current charities is The Boys & Girls Club of Long Beach.
The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach is to enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The club seeks to inspire kids through the “It Just Takes One” Campaign – One Caring Adult, One Boys and Girls Club, and One Gift to forever impact the life of One Child.
As Disneyland Alumni Club Members we continue to support this non-profit by volunteering for events they have throughout the year. We also help out by donating things such as: Back to School Supplies (Backpacks, School Essentials – Notebooks,Pencils, Erasers, etc,,,), Toy Drive (New Toys for kids unable to have gifts during these times.)
Our cash donations have also provided Musical Instruments as part of a new and growing music program that is led by some of the members of the Disneyland Alumni Club. Our members even give presentations about their Disney role – from maintaining or operating the attractions, preparing unique food and even Imagineering new things!
We love to “Inspire the youth – They are our future!”
Those wishing to help out the Boys & Girls Clubs of Long Beach can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caterina’s Club is an Orange County based non-profit organization that provides warm meals, housing assistance, job training and internships, and support to underprivileged youth living in motels and other substandard living conditions throughout Southern California.
They do this through three programs:
Feeding the Kids – provides hot pasta dinners with protein and vegetable sauce to more than 3,000 children evenings, and some weekends.
Welcome Home – provides qualified families that are living in motels, shelters or even on the streets, with up to $4,000 in relocation assistance. They also include a starter pantry.
The Chef Bruno Hospitality Academy – provides learning opportunities for Anaheim Union High School District students an opportunity to learn all aspects of the restaurant industry and includes career mentoring and paid internships.
The Disneyland Alumni Club supports this charity with cash donations, recently a $5,000 donation, and by donating uncooked pasta in its original packaging. The pasta is cooked at the Anaheim White House and becomes part of the meals used in the “Feeding the Kids” program.
We welcome donations of pasta, just email us at email@example.com to find out where to send your cash or pasta donations.
We have provided cash donations to the Ryman Arts Foundation and facilitated selling the art the students who go through the programs to fund its continuing mission.
Ryman Arts offers intensive out-of-school studio art instruction, college and career guidance, art supplies, and support services—all at no cost to the student.
The foundation was founded by Disney Legends Marty Sklar, Harrison “Buzz” Price, and others in 1990 upon the death of Herb Ryman – the genius artist who drew the original concept art for Disneyland.
Interested in helping out young artists via Ryman Arts? We can help you out. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.