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Man rides It’s a Small World all day for charity on his birthday

by Matt Roseboom

Lots of people dream of spending their birthday at Walt Disney World, but how many dream of spending it riding It’s a Small World over and over while only eating turkey legs? Steven Amos not only dreamed it, he did it.

Amos is the director of development at Give Kids the World Village (GKTW). GKTW is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort near Central Florida’s most popular theme parks and attractions. They make wishes come true by treating critically ill children and their families to weeklong, cost-free vacations.

Steven amos on it's a small world
“Look over there! It’s the same thing again!”

Amos said he’s always trying to think of unique ways to motivate people to donate. That’s especially hard right now, while the Village is closed due to the pandemic.

Since Walt Disney World is a major reason many kids want to visit the Orlando area, many donation challenges have been done at the theme parks, such as trying to experience every attraction in a day. So that, coupled with the birthday fundraisers offered on Facebook, and the fact that just about everyone has heard of It’s a Small World, Steven decided to take it on.

At first, he announced he was going to do a consecutive ride on Small World for every $100 raised. The park was open for 10 hours on Aug. 6, 2020, so he quickly met his original goal of $1,000.

So then he upped his goal to $6,600, the value of fulfilling a wish for an entire family at GKTW. If he was to reach this new goal, he pledged to only eat turkey legs all day (a decision his stomach would later regret).

One of Amos’ friends edited the Goodbye signs at the end of the ride to say Not Goodbye for Amos.

That goal was also reached, so he was true to his word and rode It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom from park opening to close. The ride went down for about an hour so he rode Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress two times in a row until Small World was operational again.

Here’s a look at how his day went, along with an onboard interview:

Amos posted on his Facebook donation page, “Thank you so much for everyone who donated and shared the link on their pages! I’m in disbelief we raised nearly $11,000! Time to drive home with the radio blasting literally anything else … “

He ended up riding It’s a Small World 33 times, ate two turkey legs, and as of this posting, has raised more than $11,000 for GKTW.

Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 160,000 families from all 50 states and over 75 countries. Their mission is to fulfill the wishes of all children with critical illnesses and their families for as long as there is a need. They plan on reopening as soon as the pandemic allows.

It’s not too late to donate to Amos’ birthday fundraiser. You can donate on his Facebook Birthday Fundraising page or directly at GKTW.org.

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