Published July 14, 2007
ANGOLA, Ind. – The dessert at one Indiana restaurant may be rich, but not compared to its server, it turns out.
An Indiana Pizza Hut waitress with dreams of college received a much-needed boost in arriving at that goal: a $10,000 tip.
Jessica Osborne was so overcome by the gift she cried so hard she could barely breathe. When she told a co-worker what had happened she called her a liar.
"I got that a lot," Osborne said.
The money came from a mother and her two sons who wish to remain anonymous. The three were regular customers at the Pizza Hut in Angola and she remembered their order: two Mountain Dews, a cup of hot water for a bag of tea the woman brought in and a large Meat Lover's Stuffed Crust pizza, half without pepperoni and half with mushrooms and black olives.
The family usually came in once a week, sometimes more. Each time they would ask for Osborne to be their server, then chat about their lives when she had the chance to talk.
"They make your day better when they come in," she said.
Almost a week ago, the family came in while Osborne had extra time to talk. Her fiancé, Derek Krouse, was sitting nearby. Both the family and Osborne opened up to one another more this time.
The 20-year-old waitress told the family how she had started college twice before but had to withdraw each time because she didn't have enough money. They told her of their plans to move from the small city about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne. Osborne asked them to come say goodbye to her before they left town.
They returned Sunday night, bringing with them the woman's brother and his wife. When all her tables were taken care of, Osborne sat next to the family for a chat. They handed Osborne a check, folded in half, with money from an education fund they had set up after a death in the family.
"I couldn't breathe," Osborne told FOXNews.com. " I told her I couldn't accept it."
Osborne's mom, Marty Kiskaden, said when Jessica called her to tell her the news, she was initially shocked but said it didn't surprise her that someone would do this for her daughter.
"Jessie is a really neat human being," she told FOXNews.com. "The fact that someone would want to do this for her is not surprising."
Now that she has the money, Osborne said she is looking into attending Ivy Tech, a college that holds classes close to where she lives. She said she was the editor of her school newspaper in high school and would like to study journalism.
As for her job at Pizza Hut, Osborne said she plans to continue working as a waitress there.
"I've always taken my job very seriously," she said. "I will continue to serve pizza like I have."
FOX News' Audrey Bright and The Associated Press contributed to this report.