This is a guest blog written by Village volunteer, Nikki Claverie.
I started volunteering for Give Kids The World Village around 2011. One night in 2013 when I was closing out the office, I met Josh, who was volunteering that night in Katie’s Kitchen. We found out we both worked for The Walt Disney Company and had a few things in common and soon started dating.
I had been a regular volunteer on the Friday night Pirates & Princess Party, as well as Ms. Merry’s Enchanted Tea Party, since I started at the Village. So, I recruited Josh to come volunteer with me. He ended up becoming a regular, too, and part of our Friday night family. We tried to volunteer in as many areas as we could, but always spent our Friday nights at the party – Princess Nikki and Pirate Soap (because “he didn’t use any.”)
In 2014, we decided to move from Orlando back to my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio. We planned occasional vacations down to Orlando to see our friends and always coordinated them around Friday nights so we could volunteer at the parties together.
In September 2015, we were heading back down to Orlando with my family, on our way to the Village for another Friday night with the pirates and princesses. As the coronation ceremony was ending that night at the Good Ship Serendipity, it started to rain. They ushered all of the volunteers into the Castle of Miracles, along with my parents and brother, who had come to pick us up. They announced they were going to start Cedric’s surprise party and said it was a scavenger hunt.
Parchment scrolls were scattered around the Castle with clues leading to the next scroll. Our whole troop went from place to place in the castle (still in full costume!), trying to find the scrolls. We were in the Star Tower when Josh announced the next scroll, in the wishing well. He went to the well and pulled out a ring box. He dropped to one knee and proposed, in full costume, in front of my parents and our volunteer family. I was speechless and immediately said “yes!”
Fast forward to June 3, 2016, Josh and I got married in Cleveland. We invited our friends from the Village, and they came all the way to Ohio to see what one called “the first pirate/princess union”.
We just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and decided our gift to each other would be a paver on The Avenue! We’re looking forward to coming down on another Friday night to volunteer and see our paver.
Experience the magic and love of Give Kids The World and sign up to volunteer!