“I was fully taken back, it practically brought a tear down my cheek,” said David Spory, who owns the Grateful Den in Glens Falls with his fiancé Carrie Bronzene, couldn’t believe his eyes when he went to clear a table.
“I noticed all this cash and for a moment I was like, ‘they must’ve made a mistake,’ I almost went to the door to look out and see if they were still there,” he said.
In total—$440. Who’s behind the pile of cash? A group of women brought together by shared experience.
“Women that have dealt with domestic abuse, sexual violence, self-harm, any mental health issues,” said Kirstyn Pratt.
They met at a women’s empowerment photoshoot organized by Pratt, who is a photographer, and formed a close bond. They found so much kindness in each other, they wanted to share the love.
“So we thought, ‘hey, let’s start going to lunch once a month and leaving large tips,’” said Pratt.
“To have such a close group of friends and to be able to do stuff like this is just incredible,” said Cassie Belgarde.
“And the feeling that you get when you leave there, like when we left Grateful Den, it was great. And you never know someone’s situation,” said Nicole Smith.
“And to know the story afterwards, to know that they did need that, it was meant to be, you know?” said Emily Therrien.
Spory took over the bar and restaurant in 2019, enduring the pandemic and many other challenges along the way.
“We struggled a bit, we definitely lived pretty tight for a while we had a huge number of failures equipment-wise,” he said.
It was an act of kindness from women who know firsthand the difference it can make.
“It’s my time to help people because there was a point in my life I needed that help, and if I have it to give, I’m giving it,” said Pratt.
The Sweet Savages have already raised hundreds of dollars for their April lunch, including a $100 donation from Spory. Where they decide to go out to eat next is a mystery.