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‘You have no idea how much that means:’ Madison servers surprised with $4,000 tip to split

MADISON — Just in time for Christmas, two restaurant servers in Madison were caught up in the spirit of giving. The women were serving the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County donors on Tuesday morning, Dec. 24, and didn’t realize they were about to receive a very generous gift.

“We come in, we work, we do what we need to do,” Tracy Jones, server at Parkway Family Restaurant told WMTV.

It was just another day on the job for Jones.

“I come in — I have tables to wait on,” said Jones. “I might help clear tables, roll silverware.”

The single mother of four does whatever she needs to in order to provide for her children.

“I just take it as I go, and as long as my kids are smiling and happy with me, I’m OK with that,” Jones said.

Serving food and smiles, she said raising her kids off one salary makes the holidays tough, but the people at her job make trying times a little easier.

“The customers are fun,” said Jones. “We have a good time together.”

This time around, her customers were Boys and Girls Club of Dane County donors — with a trick up their sleeve.

“Everyone deserves a wonderful Christmas. If we’re able to lighten the load this holiday season, we’re happy to do it,” said Jenny Meicher-Santek, chair of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County Board.

When it was time for the donors to pay the bill, they paid it forward.

“This young lady has something she wants to present to you — $4,000 dollars for the two of you,” said Michael Johnson, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO.

Jones and another waitress were able to split the $4,000 tip — a life-changing surprise that does not come around often.

“We appreciate you so much,” said Jones. “You have no idea how much that means to our families.”

It was a kind gesture that served as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

“Thank you guys so much, from the bottom of our hearts,” said Jones. “You have no idea what we could do with that kind of money. Merry Christmas.”

The two servers said when they have the means to pay it forward, they would strive to change the lives of those in need — like those generous donors did for them.

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