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Customer's Raffle Ticket Tip Brings Hackensack Barkeep New Car

Restaurant manager/bartender Lauren Conte with her new VW.
Restaurant manager/bartender Lauren Conte with her new VW. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

HACKENSACK, N.J.– It wasn't a luxury car on a snowy Christmas morning, but a brand-new, bow-topped Volkswagen Jetta that Hackensack restaurant manager Lauren Conte found waiting for her in the parking lot was just as magical a surprise -- thanks to a tip from one of her regulars.

Conte was pulling a Friday day shift behind the bar at Solari's last month when the customer gave her a Northvale Public Schools Parent Teacher Organization raffle ticket.

She's already forgotten about it when the new wheels were delivered from East Coast Automotive in Englewood Cliffs on Wednesday.

"I was completely shocked," Conte, 31, told Daily Voice.

“I felt like it was one of those Christmas commercials where the wife walks out of the house in pajamas to a Benz with a bow on it,” she said.

Conte -- who just so happens to drive a Mercedes -- said she was considering giving her parents the new VW.

It was the first time the organization raffled off a vehicle, Northvale PTO Chairperson Rebecca Osso said. The money raised will help fund new equipment for the schools, such as iPads, a rock-climbing wall in the gym, a new playground and smart boards for all the classrooms.

“That was probably the best tip of her life,” Osso said.

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