The story behind this surprise $1,000 tip (#49) has many layers:

1) This Applebee’s is the same one our founder, Deedre Daniel, worked at 26 years ago in Tallahassee, Florida, where she vowed to herself to “one day hand out big fat tips to strangers.”

2) Big Fat Tip #48 was given out in Scottsdale and paid for entirely by Mark Dorsey, FASAE, CAE – CEO of Construction Specifications Institute.

Deedre asked audience members watching her keynote at the Council of State Restaurant Associations conference in Scottsdale to help her surprise a stranger with a $1,000 tip on the way to the evening reception and dinner. Four people enthusiastically volunteered to join her on the excursion: Jennifer Norman, CAE, Vice President at Novi AMS, and Heather Singleton, COO of RI Hospitality Association & RI Hospitality Education Foundation (The other two preferred not to be featured in the video, but loved the experience of watching it all happen live.)

Suzanne Egan Bohle, who is the Vice President of CSRA, loved the mission of The Big Fat Tip® and that some of her members could participate in this special moment. She wanted to pay it forward and donated $1,000 for the next one, which is how we had the funds for this tip (#49).

3) The volunteers who handed over the money for #49 were also recruited from the audience, this time at the Florida Society of Association Executives December Power Luncheon in Tallahassee, where Deedre delivered a 40-minute stand-up comedy set.

4) Three people in that audience enthusiastically volunteered to hand over the $1,000 tip: Michelle Waddell, Sales Manager at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, Betty Ann Lewis, Senior Sales Manager at The Shores Resort & Spa, and Alexis Langley, CAE, Customer Experience Manager at CharityEngine.

That’s a lot of layers! Now, watch the video. Get some tissues.

This “behind the scenes” story is a perfect example of the real Power of Associations and how people connected to them enthusiastically come together to impact lives every day.