The Walt Disney Company Donates $2.5 Million Toward Building of MLK National Memorial

The Walt Disney Company Foundation led a Hollywood effort to raise awareness and financial backing for the building of the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial by donating $2.5 million and underwriting the “Dream Dinner” fundraiser last night, announced Harry E. Johnson, Sr., President and CEO of the Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. With $47 million now raised by the foundation, a Congressional match kicks in that brings the total to $57 million of the $100 million needed for the project.

The Walt Disney Company President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger, chair of the dinner, said: “Everyone can do his or her part to help make sure this great man’s legacy will do more than endure, but will grow, and that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s story will be known and inspire generations to come. That is why it is my privilege and honor to present a $2.5 million check from The Walt Disney Company Foundation that will go towards realizing the dream of this magnificent memorial.”

Those who attended to support the Dream Dinner included: Morgan Freeman, Alfre Woodard, Jack Valenti, Tommy Hilfiger, Gary Cowger of General Motors, Clarence Avant, Usher, Holly Robinson Peete, Rodney Peete, Victoria Rowell, and Antwone Fisher.

Other companies and individuals who donated to the memorial along side Disney were: News Corporation, the David Geffen Foundation, Steven Spielberg, Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Intel/Revelations Alliance, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the William Morris Agency, Norman Lear, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLC, Nu Image/Avi Lerner, Robert Day, Lynda and Stewart Resnick, Jewish Federation, Jarvis Stewart, and Mosaic Sales Solutions, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, and Interior Music Publishing.

“I am proud that the entertainment industry and the citizens of Los Angeles turned out in full force to support a long overdue national memorial to Dr. King,” said Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association and a member of the Washington, DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Executive Leadership Cabinet.

The Los Angeles Dream Dinner is the third in a series of dinners to raise awareness and funds for Dr. King’s Memorial. J.W. Marriott, Jr. and Colin Powell co-hosted a Washington, D.C. Dream Dinner in October 2005. George Lucas, Deborah and Carlos Santana, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell and Bill Walton participated in a November, 2005 San Francisco Dream Dinner.

Los Angeles Dream Dinner donors will join the following major contributors to the project: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, The Ford Motor Company Fund, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, NBA/WNBA, George Lucas, WalMart, Victor MacFarlane, AFLAC, Fannie Mae and its Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Horowitz Family Foundation, Federated Department Stores Foundation, Bell South, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Delta Airlines Foundation, and Washington Mystics owner Sheila Johnson. Among national figures supporting the memorial are the Honorable Andrew Young, General Colin Powell, the Honorable Jack Kemp, and David Stern.

The memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial will be situated adjacent to the F.D.R. Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., to establish a memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. Groundbreaking on the memorial is scheduled for late 2006, and construction is expected to be completed in 2008. In August, Congress authorized $10 million in matching funds for the memorial. To learn more, please visit http://www.buildthedream.org.

Via PRNewswire

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