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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Three waitresses at an Illinois restaurant say they could only stare in disbelief when a woman over the weekend handed them each a $5,000 check.

The owner of the Boone County Family Restaurant in Caledonia, Matt Nebiu, said business was slow Saturday when the customer handed checks to 25-year-old Amy Sabani, 23-year-old Sarah Seckinger and 28-year-old Amber Kariolich.

Sabani told the Rockford Register Star she first thought her check was for $500. But on closer inspection she saw its actual value and refused to take it.

Sabani said the woman told the waitresses to use the money for school and "everything else in life."

Seckinger says a last semester to earn her associate degree in criminal justice was too expensive, but she will now return to school.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com

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