What began as a notion to give something back to a group of waitresses and bartenders turned into a big success for two local charities.
Organizers on Tuesday night held the first ``Tips for Tips & Tots,'' a benefit in which several business and community leaders served as bartenders and waiters at Henry T's Bar and Grill, 3520 W. Sixth.
All tips collected through the evening -- from 5 p.m. to midnight -- were to be donated to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County and Crime Stoppers.
Organizers were hoping to raise around $500.
The amount at the end of the evening was $2,153.
``This is the first time we did it, and obviously we had no idea how much we would raise,'' said Teresa Smith, a Crime Stoppers board member and organizer of the event.
``It was incredible.''
Smith, along with Crime Stoppers board member Julie Love, came up with the idea one night while at Henry T's.
``We know the waitresses and bartenders, and we just thought it would be nice to serve them for a night. The idea just went from there.''
The restaurant was busy throughout the evening with both customers who knew the temporary waiters and bartenders, and those who didn't.
``At one point, there were 30 orders in the kitchen,'' Smith said.
The crowd, she said, ``was a pretty good mix.''
Smith said organizers would probably turn the benefit into an annual event.
-- Mike Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is email@example.com.