Chicago waitress cashes in on man`s dying wish - FOX 10 News |

Chicago waitress cashes in on man`s dying wish

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

So how much would you tip for pizza and a couple beers? $5? $10? How about $500? That's what a waitress at a Lincoln Park pizzeria got Thursday night and there's a heartwarming story behind that big tip.

Vanessa Goldschmidt says it was just a normal Thursday night at Pequod's Pizza in Lincoln Park, where she's waitressed for five months.

That's when customer Seth Collins made things interesting.

"I dropped the check and brought it to him. He signed the credit card and said before you leave I need a minute of your time, and he launched into the story of his brother Aaron," Goldschmidt explains.

Aaron Collins committed suicide in his hometown of Lexington, Kentucky last year. His will contained a very unusual request.

"That we go out to dinner and leave a waiter or a waitress an awesome tip. Not just 25 percent. I mean $500 on a pizza," Seth Collins says.

So, for the past few months, Seth has been going from state to state, carrying out Aaron's last wish, all of it mapped out on a website.

Last night's moment at Pequod's was captured on video.

"I was shaking. My knees were trembling. I didn't know what to do," Vanessa recalls. "I think he's gonna touch a lot of lives. Not just the people who receive the gifts, but the people related to them, who work with them, the people they might affect one day by doing something else for someone."

That amazing act of generosity inspired another act of generosity when Vanessa decided to share her good fortune.

Instead of pocketing the money herself, Vanessa decided to share the $500 with the other waitresses working that night.

"We all work hard," she says. "We all work as a team every day, so instead of just me having a great night and everyone else having a normal Thursday, we all walked out having a really good night."

It's a gesture Aaron would have appreciated.

"It's an incredible way to remember him and create a legacy," Seth says. "It attaches my brother's name to a spirit of generosity. Because that's who he was."

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