GKTW Angel Advisor

Winter 2009



Mushroom Button



A Letter from Pam

2008 Milestones

Expansion Update

Spotlight on a Village Department

Did You Know?

Mayor Clayton Bunny News

Letter from a GKTW Family

About Give Kids The World

Tell a friend about this newsletter


A Letter from Pam

Dear Wish Granting Organizations,


It seemed that no matter what media source you turned to last year the message was all the same – doom and gloom. When the ball dropped and 2008 was in the history books, you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief; it was certainly a roller coaster ride of highs and lows. But we all know that there were many heartwarming stories that got lost in the shuffle - stories of hope, stories of love, stories of courage.

As we look back over the past year we realize that Give Kids The World has many reasons to celebrate: we welcomed a record number of families – 6,479 - bringing our 22 year total to 92,364; we opened Matthew’s Boundless Playground, 20 new villas in the Fairy Tale Forest, we expanded our reach and now serve families from 68 countries outside of the U.S., and we introduced our Winter Wonderland parade - just to name a few.

We are all blessed to be in an environment where our guests teach us a valuable lesson each and every day of the year – to embrace the present and keep hope alive for a brighter future. Give Kids The World is truly honored to partner with you to serve these very precious children. We promise to never take lightly the faith you have in us, entrusting us with helping to make their one wish come true.

Best wishes for a new year filled with the blessings of love and hope you shower upon thousands of children each and every year.

Pamela Landwirth

Pamela Landwirth

Pamela Landwirth


  • In 2008, a total of 20 new Villas opened in the new Fairy Tale Forest allowing for over 1,000 additional families to stay here at the Village each year!

  • 63 Make a Wish International staff and affiliates, representing over 32 countries, toured the Village for the first time during their Orlando conference. Since their special visit, we have seen an increase in International Wish Families.

  • GKTW hosted more than 500 International Wish Families in 2008.

  • We welcomed 30 families from our 13th Wish Flight.

  • A group of 25 families from Make a Wish Ireland visited the Village.

  • 36 families from Caudwell Children Charities visited the Village from the United Kingdom.

  • We had our largest week ever in December, with 173 families coming to Central Florida through Give Kids The World.

  • We launched a new mini-site designed especially for our Wish Granting Organizations. We invite you to visit it at www.gktw.org/wgo where you will find important forms, frequently asked questions, the WGO database, Village Updates, an archive of Clayton’s Corner editions and much more!

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Expansion Update:


Fairy Tale Forest Update:
In 2008, the Village officially opened the doors of twenty Villas in the Fairy Tale Forest. Overlooking a serene pond and Matthew’s Boundless Playground, the enchanting “Castles and Cottages” allow our special guests to enjoy all the comforts of home while experiencing their wish come true. The next phase of the Fairy Tale Forest is scheduled for completion in early 2009. The whimsical Villas will be home to over 1,900 families a year.

Pool Update:
With the capability of housing more families onsite than ever, GKTW is pleased to announce construction has begun on a new pool and recreation area. The new area will allow children of all abilities to enjoy a beach-style, zero-depth entry pool, interact with several of the original Wacky Water Works elements, and frolic in a “water-garden” filled with sprays, splashes, and lots of fun!


Fun Pool Facts

  • Together, the pool and the splash pad will accommodate 181 friendly faces.
  • The area of the development will total 53,589 square feet.
  • The pool will hold 83,787 gallons of water.
  • The splash pad will hold 7,480 gallons of water.

*Please Note: Because of the pool construction, fishing and the Sparkleberry Nature Trail are closed until further notice.

Coming Soon! Katie’s Kitchen by Boston Market:
Give Kids The World is proud to announce a partnership with Boston Market. Commencing with a grand opening on February 4, 2009, the Village will be home to a brand new dining facility operated by Boston Market staff and Village Volunteers. Katie’s Kitchen will provide wholesome, great-tasting, Boston Market favorites for lunch and dinner, cost-free for Wish families. Centrally located on the Avenue of Angels next to the Ice Cream Palace, Katie’s Kitchen will offer a wide variety of meal options, patio dining, and pick-up and delivery services. Volunteers will be needed to assist during both lunch and dinner shifts. Please contact Volunteer Services at (407) 396-0770 to learn how you can help at this exciting new venue!

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Spotlight on a Department


Volunteer Services…

bunnyDid you know that it takes over 1,200 Volunteers a week to run the Village? Our volunteers, or Angels as we affectionately call them, help everything run smoothly. Our Angels do everything from serving food at the Gingerbread House Restaurant, to transporting our families on the trains through the Village, delivering pizzas and even helping families run quick errands, to places such as Walmart or a local pharmacy. Give Kids The World employs almost 130 employees and in 2008, we had more than over 55,000 Angels volunteer their time at the Village. Each Angel shares their time and talent to make each Wish family’s trip the most wonderful and stress-free time of their lives. If you are ever in the Central Florida area, please stop by for a tour or to learn more about becoming one of our Angels!

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Did You Know?


Village Vacation Planning Services is going green! That’s right we are going paperless, even your faxes go straight to our VVPS electronic mailbox. If you choose to fax your forms to us, please be sure to fax each child’s forms one at-a-time. If you are emailing your forms to us, please be sure to email your forms to your contact at the Village and copy vvp@gktw.org. This process ensures we will receive your information even if your contact is not in the office. We are please to announce that going forward all forms are valid for one year after the date they were signed.
Village Vacation Planning Services has extended their hours and is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Mayor Clayton Bunny News


bunny-Beginning in February, our families will receive a brand-new Village Guide to help our families during their visit. The Village Guide will replace the Bunny Book.

-On the last day of their stay, our families receive a survey card. On January 1, we debuted a new survey to help us to better track and understand our families’ experiences during their stay.

-Keep your eyes on your mailbox for your new Village Vacation Planning Services Policies and Procedures manual.

-A reminder to all Wish Granting Organizations- if you have recently updated your contact information, please be sure to email your updated contact information to vvp@gktw.org

-Please remind families that they can visit our family website directly at www.gktw.org/families.

-Mayor Clayton, our beloved Village mascot, has a new look!


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Dear Ms. Landwirth & staff,

 I want to write and express my utmost respect and gratitude to you for the wonderful visit our family enjoyed at your Village this past summer.  We visited the last week in July and it was a cherished experience we will never forget.

 Our daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor and her wish was to visit Disney World with her family.  You can probably imagine how low our mood was when we were struggling to put a trip together.  It was an answer to our prayers when all the arrangements were made for us to travel to Florida and to stay with you for a week.

 Katie had a lovely time.  She romped carefree on your campus, marveled at the beautiful houses, held court in her very own house, took a bath in a tub that was suited to her needs, and lounged in your beautiful pool.  Your staff and volunteers were warm, cordial, and ready to spoil Katie and her sisters.  She was happy to eat as much bacon as she wanted at breakfast and had third helpings in your ice cream parlor.  I can't imagine a better time.

 As her father, it warmed my heart to see her smile in spite of all the suffering.  We were so grateful to have a brief time to forget the nightmare we were living.  The Village became a sanctuary from the needles, pills, and radiation masks.  For one week we were a normal family, living life to its fullest. For one week we felt free to laugh and embrace and build those last few precious memories.  You can't put a price on that.

 Katie ended her fight with cancer on August 9, 2005, only a few weeks after her trip.  She passed peacefully in her sleep.  We miss her terribly, of course.  But we will forever be grateful that her last days were spent being happy and doing what every child should be doing: playing with her family with no care for tomorrow.

 Please know that from one grateful father that your work is of the highest importance and that you minister to families in ways that no one else can.

 God bless every one of you for your tireless work.  Like the stars on the ceiling of your Enchanted Castle, an army of children smile down from heaven in gratitude for your kindness.  And Katie is right there with them.

Katie's father
Columbia, South Carolina

*Our new dining facility, Katie’s Kitchen, sponsored by Boston Market, is named after Katie.

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About Give Kids The World

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides accommodations at its whimsical resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and partnering wish-granting organizations, Give Kids The World has welcomed more than 93,000 families from all 50 states and over 65 countries.

For more information about Give Kids The World, visit www.gktw.org.

To find out how you can help create memories and hope for children with life-threatening illnesses, please visit our How to Help section.

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Give Kids The World
210 S. Bass Road
Kissimmee, Florida 34746
United States

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