In Walt Disney's "Aladdin," the hero escapes from the underground Cave of Wonders treasure vault, even as it crumbles around him. Local volunteers looking for free tickets to Disneyland went through something very similar on Tuesday.
Disney Parks' "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion, which rewards volunteers participating in eligible events to get a free one-day pass to any Disney park, including Disneyland in Anaheim, ran out of the 1 million tickets the company had allocated for the program, even as Victor Valley residents were in the midst of signing up for a Hesperia clean-up day.
The city of Hesperia's first "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" event on Feb. 20 was a success, with 156 volunteers cleaning up three illegal dump sites around the city, and officials were already planning on posting a second event, for April 10, when they got word that the program was about out of free passes.
"We were able to post an additional clean-up day on the Disney network," city spokeswoman Kelly Malloy said Wednesday. "We were able to fill 450 [spots] before Disney closed the program."
The city had been hoping to get 500 volunteers signed up before the end.
"Anyone who signed up, they're safe," said Malloy. "They just have to participate in the clean-up event and they'll be able to claim their ticket."
On April 10, the volunteers will again be cleaning up illegal dump sites.
Even without the inducement of more free Disneyland passes, Malloy said city officials are optimistic that some of those who signed up because of the Disney Parks promotion will be back for future, ticket-free events.
"We've received a lot of positive feedback" in February, she said. "It kind of opened their eyes to the need here in this community. ... We're hoping that this program, in itself, will spur people's interests in giving back to their community."
The city has other volunteer opportunities available for residents listed on their Web site, CityOfHesperia.us. Service groups looking to get involved in future clean-up events can also call 760-947-1589.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star