The Good and the Ugly: Ye Olde Alpha Customers Donate $6K to YSS in Ugly Server Contest

Here’s a tip: If you want to raise the most money for a good cause, wear red velour overalls festooned with Santa hats and stockings, and weave candy-cane swirls into your hair.

Ye Olde Alpha server Catrina Tuckosh is a three-peat champion in the restaurant’s 2018 Ugly Server Contest to benefit Youth Services System Inc. Customers donated $6,010 from Dec. 13-24 by leaving an extra tip and voting for the ugliest or tackiest outfit when paying their bill.

Tuckosh said it wasn’t only her outfit and competitive spirit that served up her success. She always made a point to explain to customers when she presented their bill that the money would help local children.

“I’d say ‘It’s for the kids.’”

“Charlie Schlegel, owner of the Alpha, has supported YSS in many, many ways over the years. People like Charlie, his employees and his customers are the reason we can continue to do what we do for kids in this community,” John Moses, Youth Services CEO, said.

Youth Services System is a nonprofit based in Wheeling that provides an array of services for children and families, including emergency shelters, transitional living, outpatient therapy, home visits, before- and after-school care, substance-abuse prevention programs and more.

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Seven-year-old Laila and her mother Catrina Tuckosh pause for a picture with Youth Services System CEO John Moses after delivering a check to YSS for $6,010 raised in the Ugly Server Contest at Ye Olde Alpha Restaurant. An Alpha server, Tuckosh received the most votes and donations for the third year in a row.

This was the sixth year of the Alpha’s Ugly Server fundraiser for YSS. It began when Tuckosh and former server Jason Yoho approached owner Charlie Schlegel with the desire to raise money after Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast.

“Charlie wanted to keep it local” and focus on children, she said. Together they chose YSS.

Since its inception, the contest has raised about $40,000. About 20 servers raised a record $6,010 this year. Tuckosh tipped the scale at just over $1,000.

Tuckosh said in addition to being for a good cause, the contest is fun.

“It raises morale and helps get everybody in the holiday spirit.”

About Youth Services System, Inc.

Youth Services System, Inc. is committed to responding to the complex needs of youth at serious risk. For over 44 years, Youth Services System Inc. has reached thousands of youth and their families with their shelter, residential, community-based and professional services. Together with youth and their families, YSS works to improve their physical and emotional well-being, to address the debilitating effects of abuse, addiction and trauma, and to build the skills and connections they need to be successful. Supported by a volunteer board of directors, dedicated staff and faithful community support, Youth Services System Inc. makes an impact in the lives of youth. For more information, visit