COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island couple is starting off the holiday season on the right foot, by thinking about others.

They were recipients of a random act of kindness over the weekend, and now they want to spread the message to pay it forward, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Monday.

“We are done with doctors until Christmas,” William Berczan said during a recent visit to the Premier Diner with Antoinetta, his wife of 50 years.

For William, that’s worth cheering his wife of 50 years for and treating himself to something delicious. Since after being ill, the disabled Vietnam veteran just got a clean bill of health from his doctor, but that wasn’t the only reason why they were back at the Commack eatery celebrating.

“We were startled, actually, you know that someone would do that, even though it’s the holiday season. It never happened to us before,” William said.

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Vietnam veteran William Berczan and his wife got a nice surprise recently at a local diner. (Photo: CBS2)

On Saturday, the Dix Hills couple went to the Commack Road diner after yet another doctors appointment. But this time, their meal ended differently: with no bill to pay. An anonymous woman decided to cover their $30 check.

“It wasn’t a real great sum. It was just the fact that someone thought, ‘Hey, look at that couple there,'” William said.

“After the doctors, when we were down and out, it just made our day. It’s just lovely,” Antoinette Berczan added.

The woman left the diner before the couple could thank her, and the staff refused to tell who it was, since she wanted to remain anonymous.

“It’s generous, especially now during the holidays,” diner general manager Gus Georgatos said. “Normally, when it does happen, the people do want to remain anonymous. I think it’s nice.”

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The couple has no idea why this woman would want to be their secret diner Santa, but thanks to her kindness they plan on paying it forward and are encouraging others to do the same this holiday season.

“I think (there is) a lot of bad in the world, and something like that, really? For elderly folks? For young, for anybody? It’s a lovely thing,” Antoinette said.

“It would be nice for the holidays. It would be nice all year round. If you can do, and feel like doing it… do it,” William said.

It will make you feel good and festive, too.

As a way to pay it forward, the Berczan family plans on paying for someone’s groceries in the coming days.


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