► Update: Donations from over 1,500 people exceed $64,000 by Thursday morning. Two anonymous benefactors add $1,000 each.
These donors give $500 each: Grant Taylor Douglas Forsyth, Roger and Barbara Timm, Lindsay Cotter, Sharon Maskin, Mary Jo DeView and David Christensen.
"It really shows our generous spirit around here when people are in need," customer Sarah Parker posts Thursday on Facebook. "It almost feels like a 'It's a Wonderful Life' moment."
Original article, Wednesday:
Fans of independent ice cream shop Ray's step up for the Royal Oak icon as it seeks help staying afloat during the pandemic, surpassing its $50,000 goal on GoFundMe in just over a day.
"We are speechless," owner Tom Stevens posted on Facebook before that mark was cleared. "The amount of love and support we have received in the last 24 hours has been amazing. We can't thank you guys enough."
At the fundraising page, he cites "four years if roadwork and [now] Covid] hits" as reasons for the first appeal for public help in the family business' 63 years. Stevens adds:
"It has been brutal. Half of our business is distributing to restaurants, the other half is our retail soda fountain. Restaurants obviously gone and no seating in the store. I would love to make payroll for all these great kids that work for me."
The retro-style shop was opened by his grandfather, Ray Stevens.
"I will never forget spending a summer packing those molds and filling them with some very tasty flavors," Rick Golding comments Wednesday afternoon with his $100 gift. "Best of luck for continued success of such a special family-owned business."
Before Covid, Ray's struggled amid years of roadwork near its location at Coolidge Highway between 13 Mile and 14 Mile.
Its fund drive continues even though the target is almost reached.