'Ice Cream Bus' man gets a soft serve of help from Armonk residents
A popular ice cream man in Armonk is getting help from loyal customers.
A GoFundMe to help Rafael Arias replace his totaled "Ice Cream Bus" has raised more than $60,000 in a matter of days.
Arias, who is known locally as Ralph, is well-loved as the only ice cream man delivering sweet treats to the Armonk community every summer since 2008.
He is also a school bus driver in the Byram Hills School District come fall.
On July 8, Arias was driving south on I-684 with his teenage daughter when a tire blew out and the bus rolled over.
"I can't believe that we're alive," Arias said. "It didn't even matter to me about the truck at that time. You know, I didn't even care. I was just like, you know, me and my daughter, we was good. "
Arias and his daughter suffered minor injuries, but his bus was destroyed.
Word quickly spread among longtime customers.
Devin Osberg learned insurance wouldn’t replace the bus. She said she felt compelled to help and created a GoFundMe page.
"I know that Ralph has three jobs and his wife also works full time," she said. "Knowing that they are some of the hardest working people I've ever met, it's just terrible."
Donations continue to pour in.
"Everybody loves him, so I’m not surprised by the response because he is just so loved in our community," said Osberg.
The money will help Arias replace his ice cream bus.
"Brought me to tears," Arias said. "You know, a genuine love. I love this community, and the community loves me back."
Arias said he will continue to sell ice cream from a rented truck for the remainder of this summer. He hopes to buy a school bus and outfit it with necessary equipment to begin using by next summer.