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Man’s Memory Kept Alive As Family Hands Out $500 Tips To Food Servers

Aaron Collins (credit: CBS 2)

Aaron Collins (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A family has been touring the country to honor the memory of a loved one by leaving massive tips to waiters and waitresses.

As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the man’s family said his spirit lives on through this act of kindness.

Tracy Tuttle-Wilson has been waiting tables for 25 years but hadn’t experienced anything quite like what happened at her Ohio restaurant on Saturday.

“As soon as the cameras came out. I was like waiting to be punked,” Tuttle-Wilson said. “I was like, something else is going on.”

It was a surprise born out of tragedy when a 30-year-old Lexington, Ky. man died suddenly.

Aaron Collins, always known to overtip, left his mother and brother very specific instructions.

“The last request in his will, he said that he wanted us to go out to dinner and leave an awesome tip for a waiter or waitress and he said he doesn’t mean 25 percent, it’s like $500 on a pizza,” Aaron’s brother Seth Collins said.

His family honored that request, shared it on Facebook and has been getting donations from around the world ever since.

“I recorded it mostly for Mom and for friends and family and shared in on Facebook and by the next day, the video had gone viral and people had sent me $15,000 to my PayPal account,” Seth Collins said.

Seth has now traveled to 45 states, surprising 87 different servers with $500 tips.

On Saturday, his 88th tip brought him to the table of Tracy Tuttle-Wilson.

“I love seeing the waiter and waitresses’ reactions. I love knowing that Aaron is still producing good in the world,” Tina Collins said of her son. “But always in my heart is the reason we’re getting to do that and the reason…is because Aaron is not here anymore.”

The family plans to hit all 50 states. After that, they say they’ll find a new way to continue giving in Aaron’s memory.

Just before the Ohip trip to tip Tuttle-Wilson, Seth Collins was in the Tri-State Area.

He left a $500 tip for a waitress at Onieal’s in Hoboken.

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