Family pays it forward with big tip, hopes others will, too

A family in Lexington raised $500 to bless someone.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s no secret the restaurant industry has been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially servers who rely on in-person dining to earn tips.

“Everybody seems to be struggling right now, especially job-wise, with the way things are going in the world,” said Lexington resident Sami Corken

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Corken, and her husband, recently saw a social media trend getting people to pay it forward.

“We got the idea from my daughter, she’s on Tik Tok, and she was like ‘look mom look at this cool challenge,’ and I said I like that, we should do that,” Corken said of what started her family’s mission.

Sami and her hubby love Ramsey’s Diner. They also love making people smile. They saw an opportunity to combine the two in a big way.

“It was kind of a family effort and we posted on social media to get friends and family involved and that our goal was to reach $500 to bless someone and we wanted to do it at a local restaurant,” Corken described.

Once the meal was finished, with nerves and a trembling voice, Sami and her husband handed their server the $500.

“As soon as we stopped recording she ran to the back and screamed. And you heard another server say ‘shut up’. And she was so cute, she came back out and said I really want to hug you right now,” said Corken of the interaction.

They hope the video that has now gone viral will get others to step up and help pay it forward in some way.

“It gives hope, there is so much hate around, but just something to make somebody smile,” said Corken.