It was a typical night at the Brief Encounter restaurant in Bellevue, Washington, but then one regular customer did something so extraordinary, it’s making national news!
Dwayne Clark is the founder and CEO of Aegis Living, an assisted living community, and he’s been coming to eat at this diner with his wife for about eight years.
On this particular Saturday in 2017, Dwayne was thinking of his mother, who had worked in a diner similar to the Brief Encounter all of his life. His mom put him and his four siblings through college with that job, so he decided to do something amazing in her honor.
Dwayne put down a $3,000 tip on the $39 bill. He included a note which reads:
“You guys do a great job! When I was 7, I washed dishes and my mom cooked in a diner like this, we were dirt poor and didn’t have money for Christmas. Hopefully, this will help all of you have a better Christmas.”
Dwayne left the tip with waitress Julie Wesland, who brought the money to the owner, Melanie Bard.
“At first, they didn’t know who it was,” Melanie said of her employees, but she instantly knew who the generous tipper was. “He’s a great customer when he comes in,” Melanie said.
“I saw how hard my mom worked for people who weren’t always appreciative,” Dwayne explained. He has made it his life mission to always help those around him. He even started his own not-for-profit organization, the Potato Soup Foundation, which serves the needs of Aegis Living line staff and their families during times of crisis.
The employees were ecstatic that someone noticed their hard work, and compensated them for it! The staff of 12 will split the money evenly, each receiving $250 to help make their holidays all the brighter.
Dwayne remains modest about his generous tip, and he hopes his action will encourage other to find ways to give back during the holidays, and beyond.
“You don’t have to give money,” he stated. “You can write appreciative notes and say thank you. It would go a long way to nourish all of us.”
Truer words have seldom been spoken! Be sure to share this story to spread the message of love and generosity of spirit!