MUMBAI: More than 100 children from various hospitals in Mumbai had a special visit from the Disney characters — Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald — who brought them some smiles and cheer after a special visit.
While Disney and the Make-A-Wish Foundation work closely together across the globe, this is one of the first events celebrating the association of The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Disney in India.
Make-A-Wish India works with Disney to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to give them hope, strength and joy.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of India CEO Sharmistha Adyanthaya said, “The Foundation wishes to convey our heartfelt thanks to Disney for their commitment to bringing hope and joy to children with life-threatening illnesses. We are delighted to be associating our foundation with the Disney Magic Outreach initiative that will bring this first ever experience in India to our wish children. The number of these children in India is rapidly growing and the long-term association with various Outreach initiatives of the Disney Worldwide Outreach in India will allow us to reach many more of them. A wish fulfillment makes a sick child believe that anything is possible – even the future, making the impact of this association immeasurable.”
The Walt Disney Company India managing director Rajat Jain said, “It is heartening to see the children’s eyes light up with happiness and laughter each time they come close to any Disney experience the world over. Disney has immense respect for the efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It gives me great pride to initiate this association in India, which is over 25 years old in other parts of the world. Through all of our outreach programs and our work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, we are committed to supporting the realization of special wishes of children that bring joy to them in so many meaningful ways.”
Make-A- Wish Foundation America and Disney began their relationship in 1980, when Disney helped the newly formed charity grant its first wish to a seven-year-old, Frank “Bopsy” Salazar. Bopsy actually received three wishes as the first recipient: he wanted to go to Disneyland, he wanted to be a fireman and he wanted to ride in a hot air balloon. Bopsy helped to establish this long-running relationship between the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Disney.
Today, Disney fulfills more than 5,000 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation each year through its corporate charitable outreach programme. Disney wishes fulfilled include theme park visits, meeting favourite Disney Characters and visits to the sets of a film or TV production.