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14 Nov 2017

IAAPA 2017: Four join prestigious Hall of Fame at Opening Ceremony
BY Tom Anstey

Henri Landwirth founded Give Kids the World Village

Henri Landwirth founded Give Kids the World Village

IAAPA has welcomed four new members into its prestigious Hall of Fame, with Puy du Fou’s Phillipe De Villiers, Give Kids the World Village’s Pamela and Henry Landwirth, and music composer Richard Sherman all named in this year’s class of inductees.

Established in 1990, the IAAPA Hall of Fame celebrates outstanding achievement and contributions to the growth and development of the amusement park and attractions industry.

Philippe de Villiers, founder of French historical theme park Puy du Fou, was the first inductee for this year’s class. Founding Puy du Fou in 1978, De Villiers has driven growth at the attraction, which now brings more than two million visitors each year, making it the second most popular theme park in France after Disneyland Paris.

“I would like to thank the international jury of IAAPA,” said De Villiers, speaking during the opening ceremony for IAAPA 2017. “I feel pride for two different reasons – I'm proud as the founder of Puy du Fou and also as a Frenchman because it's the first time someone from my country has received this award.

“I'd like to dedicate this Hall of Fame award to all the members of Puy du Fou. We're a great family and we've done this together.”

Henri and Pamela Landwirth also enter the Hall of Fame for their work in creating and continuing to run Give Kids the World Village – a cost-free resort for children with life-threatening illnesses.

The charity, which this year turned 30, has welcomed more than 150,000 families, a figure which Pamela – the current president and CEO of the charity – promised would continue to grow.

“The purpose of life is to find your gift, the meaning of life is to give it away,” she said.

“To this amazing IAAPA community, I thank you for this incredible award which I promise you I’ll try to work hard for the rest of my life to try to deserve.”

Gary Landwirth, who accepted the award on behalf of his father who was unable to attend due to medical issues, thanked the IAAPA attendees for their service over the years.

“If he was here today, I know he’d be smiling ear to ear,” said Landwirth. “He’s a little kid at heart and he loved working with IAAPA.

“Some of his best moments at the village were seeing kids come in and be regular kids, enjoying the village and entertainment it provided them.”

Richard Sherman, composer of the famous Small World along with a litany of Disney scores such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the final Hall of Fame induction for 2017.

The winner of a number of Academy Awards, Sherman has also created soundtracks for theme parks through his career. Small World has been continuously played at Disney parks round the clock since it first opened in 1971.

“I'm greatly honoured by my induction,” said the 89-year-old in a statement. “At my age I'm tremendously proud to be in the freshman class of the Hall of Fame!”

Check back with Attractions Management and AM2 during the week for all the latest breaking news from IAAPA 2017



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