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The new year started off on a positive note for the staff at a Brighton restaurant as a generous customer left a tip of $2,021, an amount inspired by the new calendar year.

Courtney Atsalakis said she tried to remain anonymous when she left the tip at El Àrbol Taqueria, but got caught by her server.

"I wrote them a note in my car, then I tipped her the money (at the window), but I didn't want her to see," Atsalakis told Livingston Daily. "I slipped it and ran to my car, but she ran out and did catch me at the road and thanked me."

Atsalakis said she saw a news report of a server in Petoskey who got a tip of $2,021 earlier this month from an anonymous couple from Alpena and felt compelled to do the same for a local server.

"I used to work in the restaurant industry in my 20s," said Atsalakis, 40, who lives in Pinckney. "I know how much the industry relies on tips to carry them through January to March when things slow down. I love (El Àrbol) and I’d been wanting to do it. The woman who answered the phone was so nice and accommodating for my order."

Suzy Bobier, who was given the generous tip said four servers and three servers who were working that day split the tip.

"It really blessed seven people that day and we’re forever grateful. It’s every server’s dream for something like this to happen," Bobier said.

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