Community rallies around beloved waitress - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Community rallies around beloved waitress

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The Dalton community is rallying around a single mom and long-time waitress. Unexpected medical problems forced her off the job right in time for the holidays. Now her co-workers and customers are coming to her aide.

Serena McDermott has made a lot of friends over the last decade while waiting tables at the Longhorn Steakhouse on Walnut Avenue in Dalton.

"She's a sweet personality, good heart, great mother. Great mother and great employee. Great person to work with," Serena's manager Amy LaFond said.

This single mom of four knows how to work hard.

"She's go go go type of woman. She never stops," LaFond said.

But unexpected health problems forced her to stop. Now she's off the job and racking up expensive medical bills just in time for the holidays.

"We've had people come in already today and just say 'I'm here. Here's $5. Put it in the jar for her,'" LaFond said.

"She deserves customer's help, too," customer Carolyn Brogdon said.

That's where the tables turn, and the people she's used to serving, serve her.

"We all have problems and it's awful hard to ask for help. But, when someone's sick, you just do it," Brogdon said.

Serena's co-workers donated some of their own paychecks, but they're not stopping there. They got several nearby businesses to join in by donating gift cards to be raffled off at one dollar each. Longhorn corporate is matching donations.

"You can't control things like this. Nobody can, but what you can do is take a bad situation and try to make it better by showing her that you care," LaFond said.
They're selling the dollar tickets all week. The raffle drawing will be on Sunday. Or, if you just want to make a donation of money or food for Serena, just drop it off at the Longhorn Steakhouse at 1315 W Walnut Avenue in Dalton.

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