A record number of people dined at participating Visit Orlando Magical Dining Month restaurants this year, 251,766 to be exact.
How do I know that? Because for each dinner sold from the special $35 three-course menu, the restaurants donated one dollar to charities chosen by Visit Orlando to benefit from the proceeds. This year the dining program raised $251,766, more than any previous year.
The recipients of the dining dollars this year are Best Buddies, which fosters inclusion and one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and The Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida, which strives for acceptance and empowerment for people with Down syndrome and their families.
“What another fantastic year for our Magical Dining program,” George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando, said in a statement. “Along with our valuable members in the restaurant industry, we’re excited to make this record contribution to our friends at Best Buddies and the Down Syndrome Association.”
Visit Orlando estimates that it has donated more than $1 million to local charities since initiating the donation feature in 2009. Other charities that have benefitted include:
BASE Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation (2017)
Freedom Ride (2017)
Russell Home for Atypical Children (2016)
ELEVATE Orlando (2015)
Foundation for Foster Children (2014)
Ronald McDonald House Charities (2013)
Edgewood Children’s Ranch (2012)
Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida (2011)
Arts & Cultural Alliance of Central Florida (2010)
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children (2009)
If you’re involved in a nonprofit organization and would like to be considered for the MagDinMo funds, contact Visit Orlando. To be eligible for support, organizations must be based in Central Florida and benefit children in Orange County. Applications are reviewed over the course of several months, and members of Visit Orlando’s Board of Directors provide input and final approval during the selection process.