After a close friend created a GoFund Me page for Dawn Wells, the 79-year-old actress who played Mary Ann Summers on the iconic 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, fans have raised over $129,000 over the course of 10 days.
According to the fundraiser page, Wells lost her life savings in the Great Recession 10 years ago. The actress now has accumulated over $194,000 of debt, in part due to medical bills. Wells was hospitalized for two months following an accident in which she broke her knee and could not afford to move into her desired assisted living community.
"Dawn needs $194,000 to alleviate penalties by the IRS (which are compounded daily) and to pay her hospital costs," wrote her friend and hairstylist Dugg Kirkpatrick on the GoFund me page. "Should any of you out there wish to contribute a small some [sic] to help a woman who gave so many people Joy over the years, it would be so appreciated."
Wells later took to her fan Facebook page to express her gratitude for the donations, most of which were between $20 and $50.
"I thought I was taking all the proper steps to ensure my golden years,” Wells wrote on Facebook. "Now, here I am, no family, no husband, no kids and no money. I’m grateful that God has given me so many friends and fans who care, or it would all be too... overwhelming... I am grateful to any of my fans who are willing to offer support."
Gilligan's Island ran from 1964 to 1967 on CBS. Between the outpouring of donations and Wells' 384,820 Facebook fans, it seems the show still has quite the devoted following.