November 13, 2014 – While Universal Studios Hollywood is known primarily for its blockbuster thrills and entertainment, the movie studio and theme park is also known among smaller circles for its far-reaching philanthropic efforts throughout the greater Los Angeles community.
Since becoming President and Chief Operating Officer of Universal Studios Hollywood in 1999, Larry Kurzweil has dramatically increased Universal’s philanthropic efforts, bolstering Universal’s in-house Discover A Star Foundation to provide assistance to underserved communities throughout Los Angeles County.
Founded in 1993, the Discover A Star Foundation has served the community with grants, volunteer work and donations to support education, homelessness and disadvantaged youth throughout Los Angeles for the past twenty-one years.
“Everyone is uniquely touched by an interaction they had today with someone who is in need”
“Here we take the top 200 managers of Universal and connect them to six different very-needy causes throughout Los Angeles” Larry Kurzweil said in a statement to Inside Universal, stressing the importance of giving back to the community. “Everyone is uniquely touched by an interaction they had today with someone who is in need, and the fact that we could bring a smile onto their faces just lifts me and my role and just makes it very special as a company,” Larry Kurzweil said.
Indeed, Universal Studios Hollywood’s philanthropic efforts have raised and contributed $7 million to Los Angeles County, working alongside charitable organizations such as the Union Station Homeless Services and the California Covenant House to provide tangible results.
Today, Universal partnered with Operation School Bell – part of the Anne Banning Auxiliary of Assistance League of Los Angeles – to provide school supplies and clothing to disadvantaged children. Employees from Universal and Operation School Bell helped distribute books, backpacks, shoes and school supplies to children in need. Members from the LAPD Cadet program were also on hand to assist in the event, providing valuable manpower at Universal’s Day of Giving.
With Universal’s arsenal of characters out in full force, children were treated with meet-and-greets with Curious George and Woody and Winnie alongside a full day of fun at the park after receiving their supplies.
To learn more about the Discover A Star Foundation, visit Universal’s official website at UniversalStudiosHollywood.com
Chris Lord is an editor-at-large for Inside Universal.
From his first visit to Universal in 1986 with the original attractions such as A-Team, Battlestar Galactica, and King Kong, Chris admired Universal Studios for its experience of “Riding the Movies.” Chris is a huge JAWS fan and looked forward to the day when he could visit Universal Studios Florida to experience the JAWS ride in Orlando. His dreams came true with his first visit to Universal Florida in 1998. After his visit to Orlando, Chris became an employee of Universal Studios Hollywood in 1998 for the second Halloween Horror Nights event and then went on to become an attraction host for show control and a ride operator for Back to the Future: The Ride and Terminator 2:3D.
Chris left Universal Studios Hollywood to pursue a new career in commercial aviation. With his desire for Universal Studios, he now utilizes his benefits of flight travel to visit Universal Studios Theme Parks across the globe. With his knowledge and passion for Universal’s history, Chris enjoys sharing his Universal experiences for those who wish to know more about the inside.
You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.