Chance Encounter Results in $1000 Tip & Very Special Reunion
It was just a typical Wednesday night for Hollie Lalonde waiting tables at Da Edoardo North in Grand Blanc. Although it was busier than usual with the Ally Challenge in town, this night would prove to be extra special for Lalonde for more reasons than one.
According to Lalonde, she picked up a table outside of her section and immediately felt a bit of a connection with the patrons at the popular Grand Blanc restaurant. When the guests left one stopped at the bar and asked for the manager. Owner Suzie Barbieri explained to us what happened next,
"He asked for the manager and I had already left. He spoke with Kevin behind the bar and said, are you the manager, and he said I am right now. He told him that he I just want him to know this was real not a mistake. I did this on purpose."
What the man, John Damm, had done was leave Lalonde a $1000 tip. Barbieri went on to tell us,
"I was just so happy for her because I know she’s gone through some things lately and this money will help her. I cried all day. I was so happy for her."
But it wasn't just the tip that brought tears to Barbieri's eyes, but the story behind the tip.
It turns out that Damm had a connection with Lalonde that went back years, which he didn't realize until she texted to thank him for the tip...after she recognized the last name. It turns to his mother, Mary Lou Damm, had taken care of Lalonde when she was younger. She was basically part of the Damm family in a sense growing up. John has not been close with Lalonde since he was away at college, but knew of his "unofficial foster sister".
Barbieri told us it was Mary Lou Damm that was there for Hollie Lalonde when no one else was growing up.
"She would take her up north, take her away from her home life when she was abandoned.his mom is an angel still watching over her."
Damm, who lost his mother Mary Lou to lung cancer 16 years ago, knows the timing was perfect for all involved for a miracle encounter to happen.
“Literally my heart just opened up. There is no doubt that my mother was present that evening. It's really crazy that I was even in Grand Blanc that night that she was waiting tables that night", Damm told us.
As for Lalonde, the encounter has truly changed her life. When reflecting on the whole thing she said,
“ I was just questioning if there's a god yesterday and now, I believe in god and I haven’t for many years. He told me that I'm going to be in his life forever and he was going to be here for me for the rest of my life like his mom would want him to be."
We are pretty sure there was some special divine intervention from above that made this special encounter happen. You can listen to her interview with us below.
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