Coffee High Seniors get their trip to Disney World - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Coffee High Seniors get their trip to Disney World

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May 7, 2008

Douglas - It's been almost two weeks since a group of seniors at Coffee High School were left waiting on a bus to Disney World that never came.

Their substitute teacher got arrested. Police say she took their money and cheated them out of their graduation trip.

"They were terribly upset. They honestly though they had paid for a trip that was school sponsored and come to find out it was not a school sponsored trip. They were certainly heartbroken," says Superintendent Steve Wilmoth.

"I was so excited about going somewhere and I didn't know if I was going to be able to do it again," says Senior Shadae Porter.

News of the scam made it all the way down to Orlando.  And it wasn't the kind of tale they enjoy hearing.

In fact, the people at Disney don't like unhappy endings so they've invited 60 seniors from Coffee High to spend the day at the park.

"It was a pretty simple decision to be made on our part which was that we had to work with the school to see if there was a way that these seniors could have their day at Disney," says Disney Spokesman Dave Herbst.

The seniors will leave Saturday at 4:00 AM for Disney.  "I've been excited about this all week and I'm ready to go have a good time," says Senior Zach Ford. 

Their trip completely paid for by the park. And like every Disney movie, they hope the seniors will see the underlying lesson.

"We are just hoping that we are playing a part in assuring that these high school seniors that along with some of the things that go with the real world that you wish didn't, that there is still a lot of good in it and a lot of good people in it," Herbst says.

And have a storybook ending to their high school experience.

Disney officials say Mickey Mouse and his friends will have a few more surprises for the students when they get to the park.

Wild Adventures in Lowndes County will also give the students a free day at that park on May 17th.

The students, faculty and staff say they have been blown away by the donations from the community and the outpouring of support from around the country.  They say they are happy to see good things come out of a bad situation.

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