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Man Leaves Generous Tip in Nightclub

Aired July 12, 2001 - 13:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Now, the story of a mom struggling to raise her two sons on a waitress salary. And the customer, whose generosity made him what she calls a heaven-sent angel. John Dempsey of CNN affiliate WFLD has our story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOHN DEMPSEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Excaliber waitress Colleen Gallagher is raising her two young boys alone. Money has been tight, but on April 24th all that changed. Colleen told her story to one of her customers, who rang up a $60 bar tab, while sitting at this table with friends.

COLLEEN GALLAGHER, WAITRESS: When I came back for him to sign it, he says, I tell you what I'm going to do, I'm going to make your night, give yourself a $1,000 tip. How does that sound?

DEMPSEY: Gallagher says she was so overcome with emotion, that the man decided to go her one better, or rather 10,000 better, as he displayed the credit cards in his wallet.

GALLAGHER: He says, you know, you are just a nice girl all the way around, so I want you to pick a card and he opened his wallet and he said pick a card, any card, and there was a couple credit cards, so I just picked one and I said OK, and he says take that card and go ring yourself $10,000.

DEMPSEY: A similar thing happened last summer to another Chicago waitress, Melanie Uzen at the Leg Room. In that case, the guy never made good on the $10,000 tip, so it was covered by Melanie's boss Fred Hoffman, who also happens to own Excaliber. But if you think Hoffman has concocted these stories to get publicity for his nightclubs, he says you are wrong.

FRED HOFFMAN, BAR OWNER: I'm flattered that they'd give me that much credit to contrive something as grandiose.

DEMPSEY: A total of $11,000 in tips from a man who didn't flirt and didn't ask for her phone number. Colleen Gallagher says she's still stunned.

GALLAGHER: He truly changed my life and he's a genuine person, he's one in a million, he's my heaven-sent angel.

DEMPSEY: For CNN, this is John Dempsey in Chicago.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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