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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Man's dying wish reaps $500 tips for waitresses all over America

By Coral Garnick





Sends brother on a mission from the Beyond


JewishWorldReview.com |

WAUWATOSA, Wis. — (MCT) Marleigh Fiedler thought she was going to be finishing her shift at Balistreri's Italian American Ristorante at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, but little did she know that staying a little late to help her last table would get her the biggest tip of her life.

Before she left for the day, Seth Collins pulled Fiedler aside and gave her a $500 tip for his $25 junior pizza with tomatoes and olives.

"I can't believe it, I'm shaking right now," she said.

Fiedler, 20, is now the 57th waitress to experience Aaron Collins' last wish.

It has been more than a year since Seth Collins' little younger brother Aaron died. A year since Collins found his brother's will that asked for his family to leave a large tip — "I mean $500 for a . pizza," Aaron wrote. And now, a year later, Collins is still fulfilling that wish.

After raising the funds to fulfill his brother's first last wish to leave a $500 tip for an unsuspecting server, Collins, 33, published the video on YouTube. Too his surprise, the video went viral and he received $60,000 in donations through his website Aaron's Last Wish. Since then, he has left 57 tips — mostly around his home state of Kentucky and in the South.

The latest tip at Balistreri's is the seventh stop on Collins' 50-state road trip, which started June 17. He plans to leave at least one $500 tip in honor of his brother in every state.

Collins already had left many tips before deciding to take his cause cross-country. He said when he realized it was getting tough to give tips only at restaurants around his home in Lexington, Ky., he thought he might as well make a trip of it.

"People donated from all across the country," he said. "So I wanted to share it all around the country."

The road trip is all mapped out. Collins is driving his black 1999 Nissan Altima more than 17,000 miles, hitting all the contiguous states. He said he is excited to go all the way to Hawaii and Alaska as well, but he will be flying. Collins hopes to have tipped in every state before Christmas.


"I'm excited because the trip is going to take me close enough to visit Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Yellowstone," he said. "Places that without this, I wouldn't have ever been close enough to drive to. Kentucky is a long ways a way from Glacier (Mont.)."

Before Aaron died, at the age of 30, he worked in computer repair for his brother-in-law. The death was sudden, but Collins said it was never officially determined to be a suicide.

Collins found Aaron's will on his desktop computer, and the family decided fulfilling his wish of leaving a $500 tip was something they wanted to do to keep Aaron's spirit alive.

"The will definitely felt like Aaron," he said. "It was not a very typical will at all — from start to finish."

Following Aaron's other wishes, the family did not have a funeral, there were no flowers, and they had a celebration of life party the following weekend.

"He specifically said to have a party, drink the kind of beer he liked and listen to the music he liked," Collins said. "And he said that could go on for as long as we wanted."

That weekend the family drank a lot of Fosters, Aaron's favorite beer, but Collins still considers the party ongoing. This whole year that he has been spreading the generosity of his brother has been in honor of Aaron and in celebration of his life, Collins said. The party will continue through Christmas, when Collins returns to Kentucky from his 50-state road trip.

Collins' mother, Tina Rae Collins, 61, joined her son in leaving tips around Kentucky, but said she did not have the energy to join him on the trip across the country. But she said she couldn't be prouder of her two boys.

"It thrills me to think about Aaron and his wishes and having them taken all across the country," she said in a phone interview. "I always told him he was going to do something special, and now it is happening."

Growing up, her two boys were very different people, she said. "They were like daylight and dark — they were not interested in the same things, and they had their separate friends."

As the two boys became adults, they grew closer. And now, to have her two oldest children working on something together helps her with her grief and she said she couldn't be happier.

"I always knew they were going to go down in history together," she said. "Now, to have both my boys' names out there — what more could a mother want."


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Since starting this project, Collins has visited 57 restaurants and has tipped 57 different servers, but he has yet to have bad service. In the event that he does, he said he will still give the $500 tip.

"I want to see the reaction," he explained. "I want to find out if something is going on in their life. I think the odds are — if they are a waiter giving poor service, it is because something is going on — a sick relative, financial difficulties — something is weighing on them."

Leaving tip number 51, which was the first stop on his 50-state road trip, is the most memorable to Collins, so far. He was in Charleston, W.Va., and the server who received the tip had lost his mother less than two weeks before.

"To be able to connect with him through the loss of a loved one . . . it really meant a lot to me," Collins said.

It is for that same connection, meeting people, and learning about their stories that Collins decided to make fulfilling Aaron's wish his mission and to take it around the country.

"The main thing is keeping (Aaron's) spirit alive," he said. "But it is also about sharing his generosity, connecting with people and helping them understand that sometimes you can do one nice thing and tens of thousands of people will be happy about it or affected effected by it.

Back at Balistreri's, Fiedler couldn't believe what happened and thanked both Seth and Aaron Collins for their generosity.

"It is unfortunate about (Collins') brother," she said. "But it is pretty cool that this was his last wish."

Fiedler said she is not going to waste the money — she is going to put it toward school at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where she is working toward her degree in political science.

"I was going to take the day off today," she said after receiving her tip. "I'm glad I didn't."

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© 2013, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.