Brandon-Evansville middle school players pool money for tip

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Players on the Brandon-Evansville middle school basketball team pooled their money together to tip a worker at Fergus Falls restaurant. Submitted photo
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A group of Brandon-Evansville students were applauded for doing their part during the season known for giving.

Dean of Students Trent Hintermeister shared the story with school board members and administrators at the Monday, Dec. 16 board meeting.

He explained that while eating at Pizza Ranch in Fergus Falls after a recent game at Hillcrest, members of the B-E Charger middle school basketball team pooled their money together because they wanted to tip an elderly worker.

“It was pretty neat that they did this,” he said, adding that it was all their decision.

After requesting more information, Coach Jeff Anderson explained further.


“We always remind the students that they represent families, teammates, school, community and coaches,” he said.

During their dinner, an older man was bussing their tables. The man talked to Anderson and the other coach, Brian Perleberg, noting how polite and enjoyable the boys were. The two coaches were talking about leaving him a tip for his work when they noticed the boys huddled together.

“We asked them what was up and they said they collected money from each other to give him a tip for all he did,” said Anderson.

The boys collected $40 and waited for the man to come out from the back of the restaurant and then they gave it to him. Anderson said it was so good to see the smiles on the faces of the players. He asked one of the boys how the idea to tip the man came to be, and apparently one of the players said they should give him a tip and then they all just started joining in.

“They just wanted to do something nice for what he was doing,” Anderson said.

He posted what happened on his Facebook page, which garnered several hundred people liking it and also many that shared it.

It came at a great time, he said, because the boys lost their first game of the season last Thursday and were feeling pretty rejected. It gave Anderson a chance to talk to them about how important some things are.

He told them that in a couple of weeks nobody will remember the loss, but they would remember what the boys did at the restaurant.


“We don’t know how many peoples’ lives were affected in a positive way by their actions and that is so much more important than basketball,” Anderson said. “All year we talk about being good at basketball, but being better people, because at one point basketball will end, will last our whole lives.”

Anderson started coaching 27 years ago, and his teams have won lots of games and some championships.

“But this was probably the proudest and the best moment I have had as a coach,” he said.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects lead and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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