‘I’m still in disbelief’: Two waitresses receive $4,000 Christmas Eve tip

Boys and Girls Club donors raise funds
‘I’m still in disbelief’: Two waitresses receive $4,000 Christmas Eve tip

Two Madison waitresses’ Christmases are looking a lot merrier.

Longtime employees at Parkway Family Restaurant Jessica Grover and Tracy Jones don’t just work together. They’re close friends, too.

“She is my best friend, my other half,” Jones said. “Everything we go through, we go through together.”

On Christmas Eve, together the two served a big table full of Boys and Girls Club of Dane County donors gathering to add money to funds raised for families in need.

“We just wanted to pay it forward to families right before Christmas,” said Michael Johnson, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club. “I am shocked 20 people showed up here with 100 bucks each.”

Part of the money went to families in need of gifts or a place to stay as a part of the club’s Holiday Give Back program. It’s something Jones was thrilled to see.

“It helps. One family they helped, I waited on these guys, I know them,” Jones said. “I adore this community.”

Jones and Grover know how heavy the holiday season can get.

“Christmas is chaotic,” Jones said. “We’re like, we run. ‘OK, I got this, I got something for this kid, got something for that kid.’ You’re constantly chasing your own tail.”

“It’s stressful,” Grover agreed.

Jones is a single mother of four, and Grover has three kids and a husband whose injuries put him out of work.

“A lot of times, we forget about waitresses and waiters in community,” Johnson said.

This Christmas Eve, that wasn’t the case. At a bit more than the standard 20%, the $4,000 tip from the Boys and Girls Club came as a surprise.

“Thank you guys so much from the bottom of our hearts. You have no idea what we can do with that kind of money,” Jones told the crowd.

Soon enough, the regular hustle and bustle continued — now feeling a little bit lighter.

“I feel a lot of weight off my shoulders now,” Jones said. “I feel very light, very happy.”

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.