NEWCASTLE (CBS13) - It was Christmas in August at Denny's in Newcastle, but this summertime Santa came in the form of a young woman, and instead of reindeer she had two kids with her.
In more than 40 years of working at restaurants, Denny's manager Seto Avakian has never seen one act bring so much joy to so many.
"I asked her, I said 'Are you sure?" Seto said she asked the woman. "She said 'yeah.' I said 'It'll be a lot of money.'"
The tab: about $300, with a $40 tip. That's how much a mystery woman forked over to cover lunch for the 60 or so guests dining Monday.
"There was people, their meals were like 10 or 12 bucks. That one table there was 50 some dollars," Seto said.
"It's wonderful," customer Carol Owens said. "I wish more people would do things like that."
It was an act of kindness that left patrons pleased yet perplexed. Who was she? Why did she do it?
"She was very persistent and wanted to do it," Seto said.
Seto was sworn to secrecy. All the manager would reveal is she was a mom in her mid-30s with two young children, maybe 7 and 10. She tried to find out why the woman wanted to pay for the entire restaurant, even asking if she'd won the lottery, but didn't get an answer.
"She was very nice, very humble," he said.
This grand slam for guests was a giant gesture of generosity.
"It shows there are people that care out there," one man said.
She touched not only those who were served a free lunch but also those just hearing the story. Her anonymity makes this mystery all the more heartfelt - showing she wanted nothing but to share her kindness and her cash.
We may never know this woman's identity but in case she's watching right now, the folks here at Denny's want to say thank you for dishing out a good story.
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