An 82-year-old Walmart cashier worked his last shift on Wednesday, thanks to a TikToker who helped raise more than $100,000 for the grandfather and U.S. Navy veteran.
Butch Marion, of Cumberland, Maryland, was finally able to retire after receiving a check for $108,682 in online donations from GoFundMe. The fundraiser was organized by Rory McCarty, whose posts about Marion, a widower, went viral on TikTok.
"As a business owner and knowing how hard it's been to try to find good help for my business I was astounded seeing this little older man still grinding working 8 to 9 hour shifts," McCarty wrote on the GoFundMe page.
A video shared by Fox 5 Washington DC shows Marion leaving his last shift, carrying balloons, as he enters a parking lot filled with friends and loved ones clapping and cheering to celebrate his retirement. Later, Marion accepts a check from McCarty, both men teary-eyed.
"I love you, man," McCarty tells Marion as he hands him the check.
McCarty, who owns an extermination business called Bug Boys, has developed a following on TikTok with videos that show him ridding homes of creepy crawlies. His initial post introducing Marion, shared on Dec. 16, garnered more than 3.3 million views.
McCarty wrote on the GoFundMe page that he was inspired after seeing a video of a fellow TikToker raising money for another older Walmart employee who wasn't financially able to retire. While buying batteries at the Cumberland store, he met Marion, who was working as his cashier that day.
"I wanted to help this navy veteran to live the remainder of his years traveling to see his kids in Florida," McCarty wrote on GoFundMe. "Get him off his feet for 8 hrs at a time. And do the things he would love to do that he may not be able to for financial reasons."
Since Marion's retirement, the GoFundMe has amassed an additional $12,500 from donors.
According to Fox 5 reporter David Kaplan, McCarty has since invited Marion out to his farm in Cumberland, where the two rode ATVs and had "a really good time." McCarty also shared videos of their hangout on TikTok.
"They said they have forged a friendship that they're going to have for years to come," Kaplan said.
As for future plans, Fox 5 said Marion plans to take it easy
"He says he wants to sit by the river and have a beer and enjoy his life, which now he'll be able to do," Kaplan said.