Photos, video and captions by Don Gworek
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is a long-time supporter of the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee. The charity helps families who have children with life-threatening illnesses. Struggling families are able to a break from their stress and come to Central Florida to enjoy a splendid time in the Village and at the area attractions.
IAAPA helps to organize a fundraising 5k Fun Run race for the Village. This year for the first time, the 5k was held in the Village itself, giving everyone the opportunity to see the amazing facility.
Seeing it in person makes a deep personal impression on you. You can’t help but be moved, and imagine the happy times the families enjoy. Here are some photos of the Village.
Nearby, an elephant poses and waits for kids to play “bridge” and scramble between his legs.
One of the volunteers invited me inside the cafeteria to see it before the families arrived for breakfast.
A separate room is lined with donated toy trucks and cars.
Children can also serve themselves at this chew-chew station.
The 5K ran through many of the neighborhoods just after sunrise, when most families where still asleep. Here’s some race video that shows more of what the neighborhoods are like.