By Melaine Eversley, USA TODAY
Three waitresses at an Illinois restaurant got a nice surprise over the weekend - $5,000 tips for each of them.
"This very nice lady walked in today at the restaurant and gave $5,000 to each of my waitresses," the Boone County Family Restaurant in Caledonioa, Ill., posted on its Facebook page. "What a nice lady."
Waitresses Amay Sabani, 25, Sarah Seckinger, 23 and Amber Kariolich, 28, were working Saturday morning, organizing silverware and talking about student loans, bills and dreams of finishing school when the blonde-haired woman asked for their names and began writing something down, according to WIFR and theRockford Register Star.
The restaurant said via Facebook that it would not identify the woman.
When Sabani saw the amount on the check and tried to return it, the woman refused to take it back.
"I want you girls to take these to help with school and everything else in life," theRegister Starreports the woman said to the objecting waitresses.
"Yes, you can take it," the news organization reports the woman said. "You put that in your pocket. God sent me here to help you."
Kariolich told WIFR that all three were touched.
"Well, we all want to go back to school," she said.
Sabani said the money would provide opportunities for her.
"I work two jobs and I have a little boy at home, so maybe spend more time with him and do more things with him and just get ahead of myself," she told WIFR. "I hope that one day I have the amount to do the same thing to somebody else."
Seckinger said she did not have the money to finish a final semester toward her associate degree in criminal justice, but she will not return to school.
Owner Matt Nebiu told theRegister Starthat he had seen the woman in the restaurant before but that she is not a regular. Nebiu's father and uncle opened the restaurant that serves up rib and shrimp combos and baked cod primavera in 1982.
"I've never seen anything like this in 30-something years here," Nebiu told theRegister Star.
Contributing: The Associated Press