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Donnie Wahlberg poses wearing glasses

Donnie Wahlberg Initiates 2020 Challenge After Tipping IHOP Waiter $2,020

Gettyimages | John Sciulli
By Natalie Hunter

Donnie Wahlberg wants to start a new trend for 2020. Instead of an ice bucket challenge or cinnamon challenge, Wahlberg created a new movement called the "2020 Challenge." Wahlberg acted on the movement by tipping an IHOP waitress $2,020 on a $78 meal.

Jenny McCarthy posted a picture of the bill on Twitter writing, "@DonnieWahlberg starting 2020 off like the amazing man he is. #ihop #2020tipchallenge 🥰." In addition to the $2,098 total, the bill read, "Thanks Bethany" along with "Happy New Year" and "2020 tip challenge."

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The IHOP waitress lucky enough to receive the generous tip is 37-year-old single mother Bethany Provencher. Provencher sat down with People magazine and recounted the magical moment.

"I’ve loved Donnie my whole life—I was a very big New Kids on the Block fan when I was a kid," Provencher explained to People struggling to maintain her composure. "I didn't want to freak out at the table, so I went into the bathroom and freaked out a little. I was like, 'oh my god!'"

Giphy | CBS

"I said 'okay, thank you, guys, come again. I'll take care of you again,'" Provencher explained. "Then I open it, and I almost fell to the floor."

"I just started crying," Provencher continued. "I couldn't believe it. I mean, who does that? It was a blessing. I just moved into an apartment, I’m a single mother—by myself with my son. So I struggle every day to make ends meet. And now I can buy furniture and put some money in the bank, and make sure my son is good."

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"I really wanted to thank him and Jenny because they don’t even understand what they did for me," she told People. "God put him there for a reason for me, and I know that... It's the greatest thing to ever happen in my life."

Wahlberg and McCarthy spent this New Year's Eve modestly. Instead of hosting 'Dick Clark's Rockin New Year's Eve' like McCarthy usually does, she spent the evening at home cozying up with her husband on the couch.

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This isn't Wahlberg's first charitable act. He also participated in Target's Heroes & Helpers program.

"They've probably given away $5 million in Christmas gifts to children who really could use the gifts and it's just something that, for me, growing up in an underserved community and an underserved household with nine kids who didn't always have an assurance that we'd have a roof over our heads, to be part of something like this — I don't really feel like I'm donating myself to it. I feel honored to be associated with it to be frank," Wahlberg told [] (

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