NEW ORLEANS — More than 20 children in need are getting a trip of a lifetime thanks to Gayle Benson and the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans organizations.
21 children at the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home in Monroe, La. will have Christmas come early this year with an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, the Saints organization announced Friday.
Benson, the franchise owner of New Orleans' professional sports teams, has made a reputation for herself around Louisiana for her donations to organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank, Jesuit High School and Loyola University that have totaled in the millions.
"I hope y'all have a very merry Christmas, and I wanna let y'all know that you're going to Disney World!" Benson said, surprising the children who couldn't help but smile when they heard the news.
Her announcement was part of a day of giving for Benson, who also stopped at Castor High School in Castor, La. to say she would be donating funds to renovate their hallways.
"Funds not used for the renovations will be donated to the Castor School General Fund in memory of Riley Jinks, a former student of Castor High School who lost his life in a horse riding accident at the age of 16," the Saints tweeted.
Last Christmas, she was also a "Secret Santa" for customers at a New Orleans Walmart after she paid the bill for hundreds of people to get gifts for the holiday season.
The Disney trip is the latest in a list of donations by the Bensons, both devout Catholics, to Catholic causes in the area.
Tom Benson died March 15, 2018 at the age of 90, leaving his wife Gayle in control of the Saints and Pelicans and making her the richest woman in Louisiana.
Next up for Louisianans for Christmas: A win against the San Francisco 49ers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday!