Suamico man’s painting inspires entire Disney World cast

Drew Gustin's painting was shared among Disney cast members who responded with their own acts of kindness. (Source: WBAY)
Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 2:23 PM CDT
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SUAMICO, Wis. (WBAY) - Through his kindness and amazing artwork, a Suamico man living with Down syndrome recently inspired the entire cast at Disney World.

And as a result, Drew Gustin received quite the “thank you” surprise in return.

The wonderful world of Disney has always meant the world to Drew and his family.

“The Disney cast members make Disney special for everyone, but a lot of times when you have special needs people tend to look away to be polite, not stare, and I feel like at Disney they actually give attention to and pull people out who have special needs and they’re not afraid to celebrate the differences,” says Diane Gustin, Drew’s mom.

When Drew learned Disney had shut down for a while during the pandemic, his mom says he felt really sad.

So he decided to paint Cinderella’s Castle for the staff to thank them for all the kindness they’ve shown him over the years.

His sister, who had worked at Disney, then sent the portrait along with a note from Drew to a current cast member.

In the days and weeks that followed, something magical happened.

“It just went crazy, they all wanted to see the picture, the woman had it framed, we just sent it to her fold up, she had it framed and named it Project Drew and Disney cast members from all different, behind-the-scenes, restaurants, to absolutely everybody that worked at Disney was asking for their time to get their picture taken with the portrait,” explains Diane.

To thank Drew for his love and inspiration, Disney recently sent Drew an album, created especially for him, filled with photos of hundreds and hundreds of cast members posing with his painting.

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Safe to say, Drew can’t wait for his next trip to Disney this fall.

“The proudest part is that he’s bringing so much joy to it, I mean not the recognition that he painted it, but that he painted it with the spirit of gratitude,” says Diane.

His art made the rounds at Disney World, shared among cast members and characters

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