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Disney Influencer Raises Thousands for 78-Year-Old Cast Member

In an instance of a wholesome social media interaction, a Disney influencer raised thousands for a Cast Member whose house had been damaged during Hurricane Ian.

The Walt Disney World Resort and its Parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are one of the best places for a Disney vacation. The Disney Resort leads the way in immersive Theme Park experiences and allows Guests to live their happiest and most magical experiences. The heart of this? The Disney Cast Members.

magic kingdom

Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom/Disney

Hurricane Ian hit Florida late last month with nearly Category Five winds, surpassing Hurricane Dorian, Hurricane Matthew, and Hurricane Irma; even Central Florida, which typically avoids the worst of the after-effects, experienced significant flooding and wind damage. Many Cast Members were required to return to work a few short days after the hurricane hit Central Florida as a Tropical Storm.

Richard Truehl, 78, was one of those Cast Members. Known by Guests as “Rich,” Truehl has devoted years of his life to Walt Disney World Resort. Truehl has worked at Regal Eagle Smokehouse in EPCOT’s American Adventure Pavilion.

Ilana Robinson and Rich/@disneymom2.0.

Ilana Robinson and Rich/@disneymom2.0.

On October 1, EPCOT celebrated its 40th Anniversary and also, incidentally, the Disney Parks reopening after the devastating storm. On October 1, Truehl met Disney influencer @disneymom2.0., Ilana Robinson. As the story goes, Robinson asked Truehl how he was doing after the hurricane and honestly mentioned the excessive flooding in his neighborhood.

“If I want to fix my home, I have to pay a $5,000 deductible,” Truehl told Robinson. “Try getting a bank loan at 78.”

Rich and Ilana Robinson/GoFundMe

Rich and Ilana Robinson/GoFundMe

Robinson, moved by the interaction, returned two days later to ask for Truehl’s permission to begin a GoFundMe campaign to help the Disney Cast Member. In less than 24 hours, Disney fans raised enough money to cover the $5,000 deductible.

When Robinson revisited Truehl, he told her that because he and his wife didn’t have flood insurance, the insurance refused to pay any of the repair costs. In an Instagram video, Truehl told Robinson that his wife “broke into tears” when she saw the money raised.

Robinson later raised the goal to $28,000, and in less than a week, Disney fans worldwide have raised $9,155 for Truehl and his wife.

Every once in a while, the Disney influencers and Guests reflect the genuine magic behind Disney. Another notable instance is when a Disney influencer took an older veteran to Disneyland Resort as a treat.

Read More: VIDEO: 100-Year-Old Veteran Surprised With Trip to Disney Park

It’s a story and an instance that warms our hearts.

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago.