The personal touch earned a waitress a $10,000 tip.
Jessica Osborne, 20, received the gift from a family of regulars at the Pizza Hut where she works in this northeastern Indiana town.
The family a mother and two sons stopped in recently for their usual: two Mountain Dews, a cup of hot water for tea and a large Meat Lover's Stuffed Crust pizza. They requested Osborne as usual and chatted about their lives.
''They make your day better when they come in,'' Osborne said.
She said she told them how she had started college twice but had to drop out because she didn't have enough money. They told her of their plans to move away, and she asked that they say goodbye before leaving town.
They returned last week and handed Osborne a check, folded in half, with money from an education fund they had set up after a death in the family.
''I didn't want to look at it because I thought I was going to cry,'' Osborne said. She did just that when she looked inside.
Osborne said she is now considering her options for where to study photography and journalism. ''I haven't had time to figure it out,'' she said.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.