Local couple makes Disney donation to MCT – Almost 40 years of ‘Whosits, Whatsits, and Thingamabobs’ - A person standing in front of a fence - Florida Keys
Joanne Zimmerman poses with Jazmine and Jim Zimmerman cradles Coco and Lucy. SYDNEY SCHUHMACHER/Keys Weekly

By Sydney Schuhmacher 

Disney aficionados Joanne and Jim Zimmerman have a vast collection of memorabilia. Joanne said it’s probably “hundreds of items,” although she quickly clarifies that it’s not technically “theirs” — it belongs to their grown daughters. That said, there’s still a lot.

And so the couple put together a collection for the lobby of the Marathon Community Theatre (Joanne is the executive vice president, Jim is a board member). The collection was on display during the recent “Tah Dance,” and the children’s musical “Peter Pan Jr.” The Zimmermans donated 20% of the sale proceeds to the nonprofit theater. 

“A lot of the items were in storage or in the closet or under the bed. We figured instead of keeping it hidden, someone should enjoy it,” said Joanne. 

The sale, plus the raffle of two special Disney pieces, netted about $600 for the community theater.

The couple’s fascination with Disney dates back to 1980, when the couple visited Disney World on their honeymoon. It was Jim’s first time at Disney World, but Joanne had visited a few times before with her extended family. The enduring family tradition swelled, and for the longest time the theme park was a monthly event for the family. One of their daughters — Jamie, married to Patrick Stevens — even held her marriage ceremony in Disney World.

“Some of the pieces we will NEVER get rid of because they have special meaning — like the mementos from Jamie and Patrick’s wedding,” Joanne said. 

The Zimmermans, and now Jamie and Patrick Stevens and their children, have traded Disney traditions for new theater traditions. Jamie co-directed “Peter Pan Jr.” and their children both had parts in the musical. In addition to her duties as executive vice president, Joanne teaches dance classes at MCT; there are eight different types of dance taught most evenings of the week and classes are free for theater members. 

“Jim just finished rebuilding the dance floor,” said Joanne. 

To learn more about the Zimmermans’ collection, contact [email protected]. 

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