Larose, LA may be over 700 miles away from Give Kids The World Village, but as frequently as the Mickey Maniacs visit the Village, you would think they lived across the street. Michelle Plaisance, a dedicated Middle School teacher, first heard about the Village during a trip to Epcot over 14 years ago. Since then, Michelle has led the Mickey Maniacs on a journey filled with countless volunteer hours and fundraising.
Plaisance and her students from Larose Cut-Off Middle School raise awareness and funds for the Village through a variety of fundraisers. In addition to attending the annual Gingerbread Run 5K, the Mickey Maniacs hold Dylan’s Swim-A-Thon, Brayden’s Golf Tournament and a variety of creative fundraisers in their community.
Fourteen years after becoming a part of the GKTW family, the “Mickey Maniacs” are still passionately fundraising for the Village and this month presented GKTW with their latest donation—a check for $44,000. To date, the group has raised more than $544,000 and, according to Plaisance, they plan to reach $1 million by next year.
Responsible for the donation of several of the Village’s vehicles including a mini-van called “Mary Kate’s Magical Express,” a golf cart called “Spunky Princess” that is used in the Village’s weekly Christmas parade, and a train called “Brayden’s Express”, the “Mickey Maniacs” have become an integral part of Village life.
“We are proud of what we have raised so far,” said Plaisance. “I say ‘so far’ because we will be back. There is nothing that will stop us from coming back. We will always be the Mickey Maniacs at the Village. As long as there is a need, we will be here.”
The Mickey Maniacs have a special bond with the Village, as several of its own families have been wish families themselves. During their visit, the Maniacs mingle with wish families while serving in the Gingerbread House and scooping ice cream in the Ice Cream Palace.
GKTW is always excited to welcome the Mickey Maniacs home to the Village, and celebrated this month’s reunion with a dance party on the Avenue.
“The Mickey Maniacs are a very special part of the Village,” said GKTW VP of Advancement, Eric Gray. “We are blessed to have their support and we can feel that support from so many miles away.”
Thank you, Mickey Maniacs! The Village looks forward to welcoming you back again soon.