Diner busboy finds $3,000, makes sure money is returned to owner

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - UPDATE: The "Tip Thumper" GoFundMe page set up to reward Johnny "Thumper" Duckworth for his good deed and help him pay off his debts has now exceeded their listed goal of $3,000 in donations. You can leave your "tip" by clicking the link to the right.

The hustle and bustle of a local diner. As American as apple pie and a cheeseburger.

And it's at Randy's Southside Diner in Orchard Mesa you find regulars like Darrell Cox, and hard working people like Johnny "Thumper" Duckworth making the experience pleasant and comfortable.

But these two men now share a connection beyond the prototypical "have a nice day."

Flashback to Tuesday, when Cox came in for breakfast and sat down at booth number 10. He paid and left, not realizing he forgot something very important behind.

Around this time Johnny was talking to his boss, owner Randy Emmons.

"He's worked for me for 9 years," Emmons said. He's one of the hardest working guys I've ever met."

"it's usually more than what I do work for," Duckworth said. "But that's OK I like it I love my job."

Johnny went about collecting dishes, washing them, and checking the house to make sure the diner was spotless...

"I was coming around here to check around like I always do, I wanted to look in the bathroom," Duckworth said.

That's when Duckworth says while coming out from cleaning the bathroom he noticed behind booth number 10 an envelope. Inside was an ATM deposit slip and $3,000 in cash.

Just laying on the floor, dead as a door knob just laying there," Duckworth said. "So I picked it up and the boss was standing right (there).

"He walked up to me and said 'Boss I found this envelope it feels like it has a lot of money in it,'" Emmons said. "And he handed it to me and walked away."

And I opened the envelope up and there was 30 $100 bills," Emmons adds. "I couldn't believe it I was shocked."

Shocked by the amount...but also knowing that money is something Johnny desperately needs.

"Right now he's riding his bike back and forth to work," Simmons Said. "He lives on 32 Road and we're on 27 Road, and it is winter."

He also gets his paycheck garnished for medical bills he had to have.

But the thought of pocketing the cash never crossed Johnny's mind.

"It's not mine," Duckworth insists. "I work for a living I make money."

Randy took the cash and the slip to Vectra Bank where clerks quickly realized it belonged to someone who had no idea he even lost it. Darrell Cox.

"The bank called and I was like why is the bank calling me to tell me they have my money when I just got the money," Cox said. "So I went to the bank and they told me Randy brought it in."

But Randy and Johnny had no idea who it belonged to until Thursday...when Darrell came back to his regular spot.

"He was here at the counter and I was back at the booth with one of my grandsons," Cox said. "I wrote him a note on the back of an envelope ... It said Merry Christmas to a super honest guy."

His nephew came with the same envelope that had the $3,000 in it," Duckworth said. "Gave me $300 out of it.... gave me some heart."

The same can be said for Darrell.

"Makes me feel a lot better about people knowing there are a lot of honest people out here," Cox said emotionally. "Like I said I never have known where it went, I would have never had a clue."