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Disney World donates $20,000 to band program after fire destroys instruments

The school district called the donation 'truly touching.'
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

CLERMONT, Fla. — After a recent fire destroyed band instruments, equipment and uniforms at a Lake County high school, 'The Happiest Place on Earth' is helping the band program get back on its feet.

Walt Disney World Resort is donating $20,000 to East Ridge High School in Clermont.

According to CBS affiliate WKMG, the fire was caused by combustible items that were accidentally stored too close to a refrigerator. The estimated total damage is around $200,000. 

"We are in dire need of replacement instruments, and we are reaching out to our community and co-workers and fellow band directors," band director Jack Hart told WKMG.

A now-deactivated GoFundMe campaign raised more than $16,400 for the cause, according to the crowd-sourcing company.

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“When we heard the news, we knew we needed to offer our support to East Ridge High School and help make the students’ dream of restoring the band program come true,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of public affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “We have been so inspired by the community response and are delighted to be part of making a difference.”

Lake County Schools Superintendent Diane Kornegay said she was thankful for Disney's gift to the students.

“To see a company of this magnitude come to the aid of students at a time of loss is truly touching," Kornegay said in a news release. "It will make a lasting difference for these young musicians and the overall band program at East Ridge High School.”

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