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TikTok fundraiser turns Navy veteran into viral star


Amanda Kline helped Kenny Jary create a TikTok account after seeing the joy he has brought to others. A week later her scooter broke down and she knew what to do.

MAHTOMEDI, Minn. – A 79-year-old Navy veteran, known for riding a patriotic scooter around Mahtomedi, has become one of the hottest new accounts on TikTok.

The woman behind it all says it all started with a sign.

“I am the co-founder of a channel (TikTok) called @DidYouKnowThatASL, and we make educational videos for the deaf community that are fun and engaging,” said Amanda Kline. “Kenny is endearing and has a wonderful personality.”

Kline talks about Kenny Jary, his next door neighbor. Jary is not deaf and he didn’t know anything about TikTok two weeks ago, but she says he was ready to try anything.

“He started to learn sign language,” Kline said. “We posted some TikTok videos and he really liked it.”

But Jary, who became @patrioticKenny on TikTok, didn’t realize exactly how much he would appreciate his new community until he had a horrible day last week.

Kenny’s scooter broke down just a week after debuting on TikTok.

“I was going to the cafe and my scooter was not working well,” Jary said. “Something was wrong.”

Later that day he learned his scooter was beyond repair and he didn’t know where to turn.

“I was so sad,” Jary said.

“He was so sad and upset, I just decided to post a little video,” Kline said. “Honestly, I thought, if we were lucky, maybe he would get a hundred bucks off a scooter or something.”

Within hours, his new community raised $ 5,000, enough to pay for two new scooters.


Kenny reacts to @TikTok’s donation for his scooter (and more!) #Fyp シ #viral #fyp #oprah #theview @Randy Travis @didyouknowthatasl

♬ Up – From “Up” – Giampaolo Pasquile

“It just took off,” Kline said. “People love Kenny. I mean… why not? Me too.”

And the love kept coming. Kenny now has over 650,000 followers on TikTok, and his GoFundMe fundraiser has now exceeded $ 90,000.

“I didn’t think it would make $ 1,000,” Jary said. “Look what happened? I am so honored. My angels took care of me.”

Along with a new scooter, this donation will help Kenny get new teeth, move into a safer home, and pay off his debts. He also plans to donate some to other veterinarians in need.