by Paul F. Anderson
As previously mentioned, my two posts on Matterhorn Mania got a jigga billion hits, and as such I promised to continue my Matterhorn Madness. Sadly, I have been in a bit of a Matterhorn Malaise, and have not followed through. So welcome to Matterhorn Monday (okay, enough of the M&M jokes, or Mars Candy will be laying claim to my blog).
Charities have always been important to Walt Disney, and he gave tirelessly (more on this in the future). This is a part of Walt that fortunately still continues to this day in the Walt Disney Company. A favorite charity of both the Walt era and the current era is the United Way of America. The organization was formed by church leaders in Denver, Colorado 1887 and throughout its history has become the leading charity in America. It went through numerous name changes over the 123 years and currently is the largest charity in the United States, giving close to $5 billion a year in contributions to various worthy organizations. You can learn more about the organization at: United Way.
Anybody who has been on the Disney Studio lot during the fall will probably recall seeing the United Way giving board outside of the Commissary. It featured a monetary goal that was listed at the top of the panel, often with a red line climbing upwards towards the goal as money was raised. Each week it would be updated with the ideal of getting all involved and motivated to “hit the goal.” The board is a common site in America and is often painted to look like a giant thermometer; the added benefit of a few well placed Disney characters on the Studio board was always a nice touch. You can learn more about the Walt Disney Corporate charity programs at: The Walt Disney Company VoluntEARS.
The Disney Studios under Walt was a big supporter of the United Way, in its many incarnations. This was especially true during World War II years, with the Community Chest, Blood Drives, and so forth (more on this in an upcoming book on Walt and the War by the Walt Disney Family Foundation Press, written by some famous Disney Historian). But in keeping with our tradition of Matterhorn Monday (sorry, in our family, if it happens once, it is a tradition!), I have tied this into the Mountain that the Admiral and Walt built at Disneyland. During the fall of 1962 when that year’s fundraising campaign was underway for the United Way, Walt and his staff at Disneyland came up with a great way to celebrate being over the top for their contributions. As much as I would like to wax rhapsodic about the story, I believe Hans and Fritz tell the tale very adequately in the photos below. So, enjoy. And always, your thoughts, additions, and comments are appreciated.
(TECH SUPPORT REQUEST: This is the first time I have scanned and uploaded the files as PNG files, compared to JPEG. As before, I scanned at pretty high resolution [400 dpi], so a simple click and a few enlargements will yield enormous amounts of detail–sadly, no mermaids in the lagoon. However, I’d like to know the advantages–if any–for uploading PNG compared to JPEG; and any other help or suggestions you might be able to offer. Thank you as always!)

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