A mother from Spruce Grove was on a mission to reunite a lost and torn up Mickey Mouse stuffed animal with its owner, after finding the Disney doll on a park bench.
Woneta Bruce found the Mickey Mouse in Broxton Park on July 4, when she took her daughters to visit the playground.
“I sat on the bench and noticed this Mickey Mouse in the playground area and all his stuffing was out,” she said. “I felt really bad and upset because some little child left it there and now his or her Mickey wasn’t together anymore. I’ve got to fix that.”
When her family left the park, they took Mickey with them.
“I thought, ‘I’m going to pick him up, take him home, sew him and up and put him on Facebook and see if anybody claims him,'” Bruce explained.
“Sewing really isn’t something I like to do but I just felt really heartbroken that somebody did that to Mickey because I know how my kids felt when they misplaced their stuffie or their toys and I couldn’t just leave him there, I had to make Mickey better.”
Then, she had a creative idea, something to add to the family’s summer holidays.
“The girls and I were talking and I said we should go on an adventure with Mickey and just post pictures of Mickey and us doing things until he finds his owner.”
And boy, did Mickey ever have a stellar weekend! He went to the circus where he watched kids ride ponies, a neighbourhood get together where he took part in a picnic and then he had a bath in a showhome.
Mickey visited a grocery store, met some fellow animals at a pet store and got autographs from Mario and Luigi at a local games store.
Bruce and her 14 and 17-year-old daughters taught Mickey how to turn regular old rocks into ladybugs and how to make smores in a toaster oven.
All of this was documented in pictures and shared on Facebook, in hopes of finding Mickey’s owner.
On Sunday, the call the Bruce family had been waiting for came — Mickey’s owners were on their way. It turns out he belongs to a three-year-old girl.
“We were camping and I was hanging out, we were relaxing, scrolling through Facebook. I saw this post about a Mickey that was found in Broxton Park,” Erin Sharp explained. “I thought, that Mickey looks familiar.”
Sharp knew her daughter Kerrington took the Mickey Mouse stuffed animal to her dayhome and that the dayhome went to Broxton Park.
“I wonder if that’s ours,” she said.
So when she got home, she searched the house high and low, but couldn’t find Mickey. That’s when Sharpe contacted the Bruce family and went to look at the stuffed animal they found.
“When she came over to the house she said, ‘Yeah, that’s my Mickey. He used to be mine when I was a little girl,'” Bruce said.
Sharp had picked up Mickey Mouse as a souvenir on a family road trip in California in the early 90’s.
“I had to thank Woneta and her girls for taking such good care of him,” Sharp said.
“She told me she’d make sure Mickey stayed home and didn’t go to the park anymore,” Bruce laughed.
Bruce sent Mickey home with some extra gifts, including the ladybug rocks the family painted.
“The mom said it was like Christmas in July for her daughter.”