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Waiter who defended boy with Down syndrome to give donations to special needs school
Michael Garcia said he received unexpected funds after defending 5-year-old with Down syndrom — but would rather money go to the school where young boy is enrolled
By Victoria Cavaliere / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
FOX 26 Houston
Michael Garcia, a Houston waiter who refused to serve a customer after he said special needs kids should be kept in “special places,” is giving the nearly $1,000 in donations that rolled in after the incident to the the Rise School of Houston.
A Houston waiter who boldly refused to serve a customer who said special needs kids should be kept in “special places” is taking another step to raise awareness for children with developmental disabilities.
Michael Garcia said he is giving the nearly $1,000 in donations that rolled in after the incident to the the Rise School of Houston, the city’s only school that offers an integrated learning environment to children with Down Syndrome and other disabilities.
Garcia became a local hero last month after a Houston blog reported that he had refused to serve a group of regulars at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib after one of the customers made a disparaging remark against another patron, Milo Castillo, 5, who has Down syndrome.
« Special needs kids should be kept in special places, » the customer allegedly told Garcia when they asked to have their table moved away from Milo and his family, according to the blog 29-95.
Offended, Garcia took the bold move of refusing paying customers.
« My personal feelings just took over,” Garcia told KTRK. “And I told this man, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t serve you.' »
Garcia told the Houston Chronicle he appreciates the money that came in after the incident gained media attention, but said he’s not interested in keeping it.
Instead, the cash will go to Rise School, where Milo is enrolled, and will be put toward a scholarship fund.
« When you have something like this with someone who had no reason to be kind — he doesn’t have relatives with special needs, he’s not a teacher — but he did it out of a sense of what was right and from his heart, it gives us this hope, » Ashley Kress, the school’s development director, told the Chronicle.