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Today, March 15th, marks the three month mark in my year-long journey.  Many times the recipients are inspired to give the $10 to someone else or to a charity.  Other times someone watching what is going on or reading on my blog has been inspired to give $10 themselves.  I have been lucky in these first three months to witness so many inspiring moments.  Day 88 was one of those special days.

I traveled up to Gaithersburg, MD to see my friend Jeff perform in the Rockville Little Theatre’s production of Over the River and Through the Woods.    The show is very well performed and the Gaithersburg Arts Barn is a great intimate space to see theatre.  The show ends this Sunday and I hear that there are still tickets left for some of the shows…so if you live in the area check it out!

Photo courtesy of http://www.clydes.com

After the show, some friends joined Jeff for a late meal at Clyde’s Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville.  Tower Oaks Lodge has been a favorite spot after many theatre performances in Rockville.  It’s a very unique locale…it’s almost as if you leave the Washington metro area and walk into the Adirondacks when you walk through the front door. 

I still hadn’t given away my $10…so I went searching throughout the many rooms looking for a recipient.  I settled on Hans…a man in his late 30s / early 40s who was standing by himself behind the host station.  I figured he must work there and who better to give it to than someone working at almost midnight on a Friday evening.

It turns out Hans is the General Manager of the restaurant!  He has been with the Clyde’s Restaurant Group (they also own the Old Ebbitt Grill, 1789, and  F. Scott’s to name a few) for 20 years and worked at four of their properties. 

Han's poses with his $10 (Photo: Reed)

We get interrupted by some young guys wandering in the door in search of a banana split.  Hans take care of them and we pick up where we left off.

Hans tells me that he is going to give his $10 to the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, an organization that believes that children thrive with the active involvement of both parents.  Furthermore they feel that barring “issues of abuse, neglect or abandonment, social and government policy must be structured in such a way as to promote and maximize the opportunity of all parents to contribute to the social, emotional, intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development of their children.”

I had a feeling that there was a story behind this, so I asked.  It turns out that Hans is a divorced father who has not seen his children in more than two years.  I didn’t dig into the details too much as I could see that this was a sensitive issue for him. 

Hans said he was really impressed with my commitment and told me to come see him if I needed a job.  He then gave me his business card and a $100 voucher to eat at the restaurant!  Oh my gosh.  I didn’t know what to say but to thank him.  That was really nice of him.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the gift certificate to Clyde’s.  I am going to invite 2 of my previous $10 recipients to join me (and hopefully Hans) for lunch one day.  Now the hard part, who do I invite…this is where I NEED YOUR HELP.  Please vote here on who you think most deserves to go with me to eat at Clyde’s.  I have already invited Hans.  The list below is of the top 20 recipients based on feedback that I have received, page loads, etc.  I have removed several names of those who are not local or did not give any contact information.  [UPDATE 4/3/2010:  Voting is now over]

I thanked Hans again and headed back to my table.  I was gone so long that they had already settled up the check.  My friend Jeff paid for mine.  I insisted that I give him money for it but he wouldn’t accept it.  Thanks Jeff.

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