Waiter honored for standing up for special needs boy

Thursday, February 07, 2013

A local waiter who stood-up for a special needs child at Washington Avenue restaurant is being honored with a special celebration at the Rise School.

Michael Garcia, who waits tables at Laurenzo's restaurant, refused to serve a man who made disparaging remarks about having special needs children at the restaurant when young Milo was dining there with his family last month.

That act of kindness got plenty of attention, and some people sent Michael money and gift cards, as a replacement for the tip he missed out on when the other family walked out of the restaurant. In turn, Michael donated a check for $1,145 and gift cards to Rise School.

The children showed their gratitude by sharing their special talents. Students sang for Michael, and each class prepared a special gift, from paintings to cards and posters, as a way to honor his willingness to stand up for them.

"This is so overwhelming," he said. "I don't even feel like I deserve this. These posters mean more to me than anything else."

Jan Stailey with the Rise School said, "When we heard he was able to come here, what we wanted to do was celebrate that. He is our hero. This is what the world needs more of."

Michael adds that if they'll have him, he'd like to volunteer at the school.

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local, elissa rivas
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