This regular feature focuses on philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople. The Walt Disney Company’s foundation made a $1 million contribution to the Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Burbank. The check was presented May 10 to the hospital on the Disney Studio lot during a special ceremony in honor of T.J. Baptie, who recently retired as the company’s vice president of community relations, Disney Worldwide Outreach. During the ceremony, Disney thanked the Burbank community for its continued support for its outreach efforts. The Disney family has long supported Providence St. Joseph’s, and the Disney Company makes contributions to the hospital at its two annual fundraising events. Walt Disney participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital’s first building decades ago. His nephew, Roy Disney, and Roy’s wife Patricia donated $10 million to help build the cancer center in 2005. The initial $10 million donation enabled the hospital to start designing the cancer center and outfitting it with the latest technology. The center is scheduled to open this year. According to officials at Providence, the cancer center will be the most comprehensive in the San Fernando Valley, offering a variety of services that will keep patients from having to drive to multiple offices during treatment. It will be staffed with a myriad of medical professionals, including medical and radiation oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, counselors and hospice physicians. Patients will also have access to acupuncture, massage therapy and similar services. Last year, the Walt Disney Company donated more than $170 million in cash and in-kind support to charities around the world. Jaycees Eat and Skate For Donations The operators of Northridge Skateland donated 50 percent of admission receipts for members of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the Jaycees back to the organization during a “skate night” last month. The rink is operated by Fleming Entertainment Centers Inc., whose director of finance is Victoria Bourdas, also the executive vice president of the Jaycees. In March, the group partnered with the Chevys Fresh Mex Restaurant in Encino, which donated 20 percent of proceeds to the organization. Vons Makes Earth Day Donation The grocery store chain Vons donated five tons of compost to residents at Valley City Councilman Greig Smith’s Earth Day Environmental Clean-Up and Free Tree Give Away at Chatsworth Park April 22. Arcadia-based Vons, owned by Safeway Corp., also gave away 1,000 plant life lesson kits to 1,000 Los Angeles Unified School District first graders. The kits teach youngsters about the basic elements needed for plant growth, and included a plant container, seeds, soil and other supplies. “We thank Vons for their leadership role in helping to make our community more sustainable and we greatly appreciate their support for this wonderful Earth Day event,” said Smith, whose 12th district includes Chatsworth. Warner Bros. Awards Scholarships Warner Bros. Studios has awarded college and vocational scholarships to three Burbank high school students through its Burbank Youth Enrichment Program. Loren Diaz, 18, a senior at Burbank High School, and Shannon McShane, 18, a senior at Providence High School, each received $10,000 scholarships. The funds will be distributed equally over four years. Greg Fields, 18, a senior at Burbank High School, received a $2,500 vocational scholarship. In addition to the scholarships, the recipients will have the opportunity to intern with Warner Bros. during summer breaks. Diaz, who is interested in the business side of the entertainment industry, will spend her summer as an intern in the studio’s Television Information Technology Department. Fields, who is interested in becoming a firefighter, will work with the studio’s fire and first aid departments. McShane will work in the Studio Operations Department and will have the opportunity to meet with prospective production clients. Hoffman Brown Helps Troops Sherman Oaks-based insurance company Hoffman Brown helped prepare an estimated 15,000 care packages and letters of appreciation for United States troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Volunteers organized the shipments, which included toothbrushes, lotion, soap, hot cocoa and letters penned by local students, in the parking lot of the company’s Sherman Oaks offices April 28. “The letters and care packages will hopefully provide our troops and Marines with a small reminder that people back at home care about and are thinking of them,” said HBC President Steven M. Brown, in a statement. Nonprofit Operation Interdependence sent the packages to the troops. The event also honored Sean Brock, a Marine captain killed in Iraq two years ago. Fire Department Receives $50,000 Donation USI of Southern California Insurance Services and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company gave a $50,000 donation to the Los Angeles Fire Department to fund the purchase of new physical fitness equipment. USI and Fireman’s Fund representatives presented the check to Jim Gaffney, battalion chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department, and Los Angeles firefighters at a fire department drill demonstration May 10 at the Woodland Hills Marriott. The money will enable the department to purchase several new workout machines and audio/visual equipment for the department’s training room. The equipment is slated to help curb the increasing amount of firefighter deaths due to heart attacks. “It’s important we provide them with the equipment and resources needed to stay healthy,” said Fire Chief Douglas L. Barry. The donation is part of a nationwide program called Fireman’s Fund Heritage, which is funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The program is designed to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments. Hospital Benefit The Henry Mayo Flame of Life volunteers raised more than $7,000 to benefit the hospital through a casino night April 21.