Friday, July 13, 2012

Family honors loved one's last request with $500 tip to restaurant server

Even after death, Aaron Collins gives on.

The technician at Computers Plus Repair died of undetermined causes July 7. He was 30.

His family wanted to honor his last request, which was to go to a restaurant for pizza and give the server a $500 tip. They raised money to go to Puccini's in Lexington on July 10 where they surprised server Sarah Ward with $500.

Brother Seth Collins and his family made a video to show donors how their money was spent. It went viral.

Aaron's brother Seth started a Web site,, to take money to "pay forward" big tips to other deserving servers. At last count, $18,000 had been donated.

"I had absolutely no idea this would happen," Seth Collins said. "At some point, the Internet just grabbed hold."

Seth Collins said his brother had worked making pizzas and had also been a handyman.

Michael Johnson, owner of Computers Plus Repair, who is married  to Seth and Aaron's sister Rachel, said that Aaron Collins was such a diligent worker "he would stay after hours to mop the floor."

Aaron Collins also loved his dog Lexi, a part huskie, devoting a whole photo album to the canine on his Facebook page.

"He had a respect for the working person," Johnson said. "He always wanted to help people."

The family plans to give more large tips at other Lexington restaurants, but they realize that at some point they may become too easy to recognize, and other friends may have to accept the assignment of giving.

The family pays for the restaurant food; the Web site raises money for the tips, Johnson said.

But with the donations rolling in, there will be plenty of opportunities for more surprises.

Servers are "a group of people who he felt were underappreciated," Seth Collins said.

Source: Lexington Herald-Leader

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