"Larry the Can Man" reaches another big milestone

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - We have told you about "Larry the Can Man" before. But Friday, he reached another big milestone so we decided we needed to pay him another visit.

This time we didn't have to go to Anderson to catch up with Larry. This time he came to us because he had to make another special delivery.

It's only fitting that Larry Vaness would be making a delivery to the Ronald McDonald House on "Random Act of Kindness Day."

"You ain’t kidding. That reminds me of home," Larry observed as he ran his hand through a box containing one million pop tabs.

"Larry the Can Man" as he is known has collected over 12 million pop tabs so far.

"I like that. I like that. Now I got a garage. I ain't got a car. I park my tabs in there. I park my tabs in there," Larry said as he surveyed the sign in the garage that contained his name.

He has parked 12 million tabs so far and with Friday's delivery of some 35,000 per box is about to register another milestone.

"On behalf of Ronald McDonald House, we thank you and we love you so much and we are so grateful to you and here is your plaque for now collecting 13 million pop tabs," Kelly Thien from Ronald McDonald announced.


"Can I kiss your cheek," Thien asked Larry.

"Call 911, Kevin," The Can Man said aloud.

"Larry also gets a birthday kiss on the cheek and today is his 70th," Thien explained.

Larry will be the first to tell you he used to be an alcoholic but now he is a "tabaholic." We first told you about his dedication in an "Only in Indiana" story last year, but that is when his collection was mainly centered in his hometown of Anderson. Now, his celebrity has spread to Indianapolis - like the Hampton Inn downtown.

With another big milestone down, Larry is focused on the next million.

"Yes, I already have 225,000 and only need 775,000 even to reach 14 million. I still have 100,000 at home to count. No it's cool. It’s very cool, but it's also crazy," Larry said. "I do it for the kids and the families. That is what it's all about. It's not about me."

"So he helps to keep our doors open," Thien gushed.

"I'll be counting tonight," Larry explained.

Even on his birthday?

"Why not? Keeps me young. Keeps me motivated. Keeps me out of trouble," he noted.

And keeps reminding us what Random Act of Kindness Day is all about. Except this isn't random - Larry the Can Man lives it.

I got to have a birthday lunch with Larry at the Hard Rock Friday, but folks in Anderson, no worries, he will be celebrating his 70th back home Saturday night at - where else? - McDonald's.