Disney Celebrates MEAC/SWAC Challenge
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Though the North Carolina A&T Aggies triumphed over their rival Alabama A&M Bulldogs at this weekend’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, the real winners were the 20,000 fans who came to Central Florida to cheer on their favorite team during this annual celebration of diversity, higher education and football.

Players, bands, fans and the Central Florida community commemorated the 10th year of this Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) weekend of events, which has a positive economic impact across the region. Huddled around a football matchup and between the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the game aired on ESPN network and showcased the region to a national audience as it broadcast from Bright House Networks Stadium at the University of Central Florida.

“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney, it’s thrilling to be part of the heritage, community and educational legacy of HBCUs,” said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “We appreciate the HBCU alumni and fans who traveled to Central Florida for this exciting college football kick-off and four days of fun, inspiring community events.”

In the tradition of HBCU classics, the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is more than just a gridiron spectacle. The Labor Day weekend of events featured a variety of activities highlighting the contributions of HBCUs and their alumni, beginning with ESPN 101, a sports career panel for students held Thursday at Oak Ridge High School. The following day, 100 students from Edgewater High School attended HBCU College Immersion Day, a college and career fair at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort designed to familiarize students with higher education opportunities.

The fun continued with a welcome reception for teams and coaches at Epcot’s World Showplace, followed by a fan day and band showcase at Magic Kingdom Park. On the evening before the game, the annual Legends reception honored outstanding HBCU alumni for their athletic and academic contributions.

With many HBCU alumni among its Cast Members, Disney has sponsored the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney for seven years as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity, education and community. The four-day event also draws thousands of football fans, which has a positive economic impact across Central Florida. Since its inception, the challenge has showcased 13 different HBCU institution

Avengers: Everybody Wants to Rule the World Prose Novel Released April 2015
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The adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can be found in the pages of Marvel Comics every week, but now the Avengers are out to conquer the world of prose! Marvel is proud to announce AVENGERS: EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD, the newest in the growing line of Marvel prose novels! Following the release of 2014’s Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Steal the Galaxy, New York Times-bestselling writer Dan Abnett returns for Marvel’s second original novel! Scheduled for release in April 2015, just in time for the Avengers’ return to the big screen on May 1st in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, this action-packed prose adventure follows Earth’s Mightiest across the universe!

The Avengers have fought their fair share of dangerous and deadly foes. Are they prepared to face them again – all at once?! In Berlin, Captain America battles against the forces of Hydra. In the Savage Land, Black Widow and Hawkeye attempt to foil the maniacal plot of A.I.M. In Washington, the Invincible Iron Man battles the robotic hordes of Ultron. In Mangapore, Bruce Banner and Nick Fury do battle against the High Evolutionary! The attacks can’t all be a coincidence—but who, or what, is behind them?

“Marvel Prose Novels offer a whole new way to experience the Marvel Universe,” says Marvel SVP Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. “Who better to bring the Avengers to life for an original prose novel than Dan Abnett? This one is crammed cover to cover with the action Marvel fans love.”

Brought together to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand, what hope do the Avengers have when they’re scattered and separated, forced to battle legions of their deadliest foes? Strap in for a tale unlike any other when fan-favorite scribe Dan Abnett takes the Avengers for a spin in their first, ever original prose novel: AVENGERS: EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD!

Join LaughingPlace for ESPN Fantasy Football Games
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Join fellow readers of LaughingPlace.com in our annual Fantasy Football games. This year we have three to choose from, Pigskin Pick’em, Gridiron Challenge, and Eliminator Challenge. Pick one, two or all three.

The password to join our groups is “max”

Pigskin Pick’em: http://games.espn.go.com/nfl-pigskin-pickem/en/group?groupID=23866&groupp=bWF4A&invitesource=twitter&inviteuser=MTIwMjk5NQ%3D%3D&ex_cid=invite-twitter-pigskin

Gridiron Challenge: http://games.espn.go.com/nfl-gridiron-challenge/en/group?groupID=22438&groupp=bWF4A&invitesource=twitter&inviteuser=MTIwMjk5NQ%3D%3D&ex_cid=invite-twitter-gridiron

Eliminator Challenge: http://games.espn.go.com/nfl-eliminator-challenge/en/group?groupID=28926&groupp=bWF4A&invitesource=twitter&inviteuser=MTIwMjk5NQ%3D%3D&ex_cid=invite-twitter-eliminator

 

Walt Disney World Chefs VoluntEAR at Homeless Facility
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Chefs from Walt Disney World Resort whipped up some delicious meals and were among the first to pepper their culinary expertise with the residents of the new Men’s Service Center at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida is the largest provider of homeless services in Central Florida and the largest residential facility for children. The Coalition provides a broad range of services to help deal with the root causes of homelessness, including job training and educational programs to over 600 men, women and children. The new Men’s Service Center offers community meals every night and provides supportive services for up to 250 men.

With 100 pounds of meat malls, 1,000 dinner rolls, 300 pounds of tortellini, 1500 corn dogs, 200 pounds of bread pudding and 750 cupcakes, the Disney chefs prepared enough food to feed 1,000 people during their latest bi-weekly visit to the nonprofit.

Disney’s involvement was not limited to the kitchen. Earlier this summer, other representatives from Disney volunteered time to unload trailers full of furniture, move them into the building and assemble the unfinished pieces. In addition, Disney has supported the Coalition through Disney Grants. As a top recipient of the grants, the Coalition receives ongoing comprehensive support from Disney, through volunteer board service, assistance in the maintenance and improvement of Coalition facilities and through the donations of more than 18,000 meals annually and warm clothing in the winter.

“Walt Disney World has been a long-time supporter of the work and mission of Coalition for the Homeless,” said Brent A. Trotter, president and CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless.  “Because of their generous support of our children’s programs, the donations of in-kind goods and services, and the hundreds of VoluntEAR hours given by so many Disney Cast Members on countless projects, we are able to provide crucial services to those experiencing the crisis of homelessness.”

In addition to supporting the Coalition for the Homeless, Disney is actively involved in helping address homelessness in Central Florida by working with community programs and partnerships to reduce the number of homeless people in the community and prevent more people from being at risk

Disney Recycling Mattresses By Donating To Local Non-Profit
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Walt Disney World Resort recently started donating mattresses and box springs to The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, which will recycle the materials, creating jobs for clients they serve.

Starting with 50 mattresses and box springs from Disney’s All-Star Resort in August, the project will expand to other Disney resort hotels later this year. When complete, Mustard Seed is expected to receive more 5,000 mattresses and box spring sets.

“Since receiving these donations from Walt Disney World Resort, we have been able to hire more employees and provide job training services to help those less skilled,” said Kathy Baldwin, executive director of The Mustard Seed of Central Florida. ”

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida hopes to rebuild the lives of families by providing furniture and clothing while also being environmentally responsible. For more than 25 years, the nonprofit has helped families climb out of crisis situations by collecting donated furniture and household items and granting them to pre-qualified families to help them reestablish a home.

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida’s Mattress Recycling Center provides a sustainable alternative to disposing of unneeded mattresses and box springs. Because these materials do not decompose, they place a burden on landfills. For every mattress or box spring deconstructed at The Mustard Seed, 23 cubic feet of landfill is saved and about 85 percent of the material is recycled.

With a strong commitment to minimizing its overall impact on the environment, Walt Disney World Resort encourages and inspires environmentally responsible behavior from its Cast Members, guests and business partners. Recycling is a big part of waste management at Walt Disney World Resort. In 2013, more than 125,000 tons of materials were recycled.

First Look Inside Avengers & X-Men: AXIS
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This October, the Marvel Universe prepares for the biggest battle its ever faced, and today Marvel is proud to present your very first look inside the highly anticipated AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1! Blockbuster writer Rick Remender is joined by the star-studded artist line up of Adam Kubert, Leinil Yu, Terry Dodson and Jim Cheung for an epic conflict that will require the Avengers and the X-Men to stand together like never before!

From the ashes of Avengers vs. X-Men, rises a new threat. the Red Skull – a monstrous force of evil, now possesses the extraordinary mutant gifts of the late Charles Xavier. Exploiting the powers of the world’s most powerful telepath, he has amassed an army and broadcasts his message of hate across the globe. Residing in the once proud Mutant nation of Genosha, he has enslaved thousands of mutants in his bid for world domination.

“This is the big one,” says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. “Super hero comics at their biggest and boldest. With the powers of Charles Xavier, the Red Skull is the biggest, baddest villain in the Marvel Universe. Rick’s story is massive and will touch all corners of the Marvel Universe in new and interesting ways.”

All that stands in the Red Skull’s path is the fragile alliance of Avengers and X-Men. Even united, they may not be enough to stem the coming darkness. Earth’s last hope hinges on these fractured squads fighting as one. But as the Age if Inversion looms upon us – have they already lost?

There’s a fine line between good & evil. Find out how thin as the battle commences in AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1!

Plus, before Avengers & X-Men: AXIS kicks off, follow the events leading up to the blockbuster comic event of the year withAvengers & X-Men: AXIS – The Story So Far. Relive the war between Avengers and X-Men over the Phoenix Force, the Avengers Unity Squad’s first battle with the Red Skull in the pages of Uncanny Avengers and more.

For more on Avengers & X-Men:AXIS, please visit www.marvel.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #MarvelAXIS and don’t forget to follow us at @Marvel [www.twitter.com/Marvel]!

Disney Cast Members, HBCU Advocates Provide Higher Ed Insight to Local Students during HBCU College Information Fair
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As they look to the future, 100 students from Edgewater High School see the college experience through a new lens following today’s HBCU College Information Fair. As part of the 10th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney, the college fair was designed to familiarize students with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the world of opportunity higher education presents.

Held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, the event included presentations by United Negro College Fund Development Director Sherry Paramore, who outlined the value of an HBCU education, as well as how to prepare for college and secure financial aid. Students later mingled with Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort who attended HBCUs. Representing ten HBCU alma maters, Cast Members shared how their college experiences prepared them for Disney careers.

“As HBCU alumni, the Disney Cast Members who attended today’s event have a unique perspective to share with our community’s high school students,” said Belinda Frazier, Manager of Corporate Citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort. “As our Cast Members discussed preparing for college, the HBCU experience and career opportunities, the students were inspired to dream and envision a successful future.”

The college fair is one of the highlights of a weekend of events and activities that showcase the diversity, higher education and contributions of HBCUs.

The centerpiece of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney is the annual football game that matches up teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Nearly 20,000 fans come to Orlando for the yearly event. The game shines a national spotlight on the region and the University of Central Florida through broadcasts on ESPN.

The game, scheduled for Sunday at UCF’s Bright House Networks Stadium, will feature the North Carolina A&T Aggies and the Alabama A&M Bulldogs. With their teams in town for the game, representatives of North Carolina A&T and Alabama A&M took a break from the rivalry to speak to students at today’s event.

“It’s gratifying to see the HBCU community come together to inspire our next generation of students and leaders,” said Sherry Paramore from the United Negro College Fund. “These students represent the future of higher education and institutions like ours.”

Next El Cap Throw Back Is The Parent Trap On October 9
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The next edition of The El Capitan Throwback Friday will be The Parent Trap on October 9.

THE PARENT TRAP was originally released on June 19, 1961. This Walt Disney film which stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith is a story about teenage twins on a quest to reunite their divorced parents. The screenplay by the film’s director David Swift was based upon the book LOTTIE AND LISA (Das Doppelte Lottchen) by Erich Kastner.

Identical twins Susan Evers and Sharon McKendrick (both played by Hayley Mills) meet at summer camp, unaware that they are sisters. Their identical appearance initially creates rivalry, and they continuously pull pranks on each other, which ultimately leads to the camp dance being crashed by their mischief. As punishment, they must live together in an isolated cabin for the remainder of their time at summer camp. After both admit they come from broken homes, they soon realize they are twin sisters and that their parents, Mitch (Brian Keith) and Maggie (Maureen O’Hara), divorced shortly after their birth, with each parent having custody of one of them. The twins, each eager to meet the parent she never knew, switch places. Learning the news that their father is planning to marry a gold digger, the twins scheme to sabotage their father’s marriage plans and get the former spouses back together.

General: $10 Includes: General Admission seat, 39oz popcorn, 12oz twist top soda.

VIP: $20 Includes: VIP seat, 64oz El Capitan souvenir popcorn bucket with lid, 20oz twist top soda.

Enver Gjokaj and Chad Michael Murray Join the Cast of Marvel’s Agent Carter
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Enver Gjokaj and Chad Michael Murray have joined the cast of Marvel’s Agent Carter. Enver is perhaps best known for his role in FOX’s Dollhouse, but he also played “Young Cop” in Marvel’s The Avengers. Chad Michael Murray is best known for his role of Lucas Scott on The CW’s One Tree Hill.

Agent Carter will air on ABC this Winter.