Walt Disney Co. pledges $1m for Bahamas hurricane relief

Disney has Bahamian employees on Castaway Cay, which it said experienced only tropical force winds FILE PHOTO: David Roark/Disney Cruise Line

The Walt Disney Co., led by Disney Cruise Line, has committed more than $1m in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in the Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.

Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said the Walt Disney Co. ‘stands with the people of the Bahamas,’ adding: ‘We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.’

$1m to relief agencies plus supplies

Disney’s commitment includes a $1m donation to nonprofit relief agencies that will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies — including food staples and basic construction materials — to those in impacted areas.

Resources for Bahamian employees

Additionally, Disney said employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of the Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Castaway Cay, which experienced only tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

‘Concern and heartache’

‘The Bahamas [are] such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,’ Disney Cruise Line President Jeff Vahle said. ‘We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in the Bahamas.

‘As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian crew members.’

Disney continues to monitor Hurricane Dorian and said it will coordinate on an ongoing basis with nonprofit organizations on emergency response efforts. This includes sharing lifesaving information with families before and during emergencies, prepositioning supplies at the ready to respond rapidly to natural disasters and providing resources to activate large-scale responses as needed in the event of a disaster.

Plans for another private island

Besides Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line is planning a new private Bahamian island at Eleuthera. Lighthouse Point construction could begin in 2020 with completion in late 2022 or 2023.

See also ‘Royal Caribbean commits $1m to hurricane recovery’ and ‘Our hearts go out to the Bahamas’

Posted 3 September 2019

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Anne Kalosh

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Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for AFAR.com, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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