In the predawn chill at Biloxi's Town Green, the hundreds of kids from the boys and girls clubs had no idea the surprises that awaited them. But in between appearances on Good Morning America, there was lots of entertainment to keep the kids dancing.
The special guest didn't keep them waiting long. America's favorite mouse was introduced by GMA anchor and Pass Christian native Robin Roberts. But Mickey wasn't the only big deal on this national broadcast. His boss, Disney Executive Tom Staggs, made the day when he handed over two checks.
"It's my pleasure to present this check to Roxanne Spillett, President of the Boys and Girls Clubs for $1 million to rebuild."
The money will rebuild Boys and Girls Clubs in Mississippi and Louisiana. And another half million goes to Pass Christian's Club.
"I'm speechless. To work for a company like Disney that believes in community and came up with the idea and saying, 'We want to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast.' Knowing it's very important to many people here, my family included, since we helped start the one in the Pass. And a million and half dollars is gonna go a long way. It's a nice start, great start," says Robin Roberts.
Disney says the company's founder, Walt Disney, helped bring Boys and Girls Clubs to California.
"The amount of work that there is to do down here with so many clubs destroyed, we're just pleased to be a part of it," Staggs says.
The clubs have plans to build back, but never dreamed they'd get this kind of financial help.
Sue Reed, Coast Club President says, "This is our first actual money in the bank and we're so excited."
Boys and Girls Clubs are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and Reed says the donation from Disney is a great gift.