Fundraiser Held for Family Affected by Marathon Blasts - NECN

Fundraiser Held for Family Affected by Marathon Blasts



    Cafe Escadrille waiters in Burlington, Mass. donating 100 percent of tips to help Jeff Bauman (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Ally Donnelly) - It's the lunch rush at Cafe Escadrille in Burlington, Mass, but Thursday was even busier than usual.

    Waitress Ashley Boucher explains to her table, "100 percent of them for the entire day." She's talking about gratuities. The wait staff, bartenders, bar backs and bussers have decided to donate all of their tips for the day and night to the Bauman family.

    "It's like we're a big family here, we all work together," said Boucher, wearing a white tee shirt emblazoned with the words, "Bauman Strong", adding, "When one of us are hurting the rest of us are hurting."

    Patty Bauman has been a waitress at Cafe Escadrille for the last eight years or so, and is the mother of Jeff Bauman. The 27-year-old Chelmsford man lost both legs in the Boston Marathon bombings. Cafe Escadrille manager Stephane Colinete says Patty was at work when the bombs went off, knowing her son was near the finish line.

    "She was, you know, a lot of anxiety and she just could tell, something's wrong," he said.

    She would later learn her son was alive when someone spotted the now iconic image of Bauman being rushed from the blast scene in a wheelchair in media reports.

    "Oh. I can't even imagine, I can't even imagine," a cafe regular named Nancy said.

    Customers have poured into Cafe Escadrille in droves -- many with tears in their eyes.

    Mary Skidgel of Melrose, who came with two of her girlfriends, said "Just to let the family know that people out there, that don't know them, care."

    Regular Joe Cataldo agreed.

    "His whole life has changed, as well as hers," he said. "So hopefully some good will come out of it as this is showing today."

    Patty has been at her son's bedside for weeks and waitresses like Boucher know all too well if you can't come to work, you don't make money.

    "You still have to pay rent, buy your groceries," she said. "If we can take the burden away for where the money's going to come from then she can be there emotionally, physically for Jeff and help in his recovery."

    So, as checks are paid and tips counted, how's it going? "At least 40 percent for all of my tables so far..." said Boucher excitedly.

    Her mother Toni, also a waitress, came by waving a wad of 20 dollar bills.

    "Eighty tip on a 20 check....way to go Bauman!" she crowed.

    They have no idea how full the tip jar will be, but whatever they earn, the owner of Cafe Escadrille assures them, he'll match.

    If you'd like to help the Baumans, you can donate online here.