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People Top 5
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- May 21, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 21
Serving Hot Food and Warm Hugs
Born with Down Syndrome, Tim Harris Offers Up Hearty Meals-and Inspiration-at His Albuquerque Diner
That exceptional customer service is a daily reminder of what a determined young man with devoted parents can achieve. When Jeannie and Keith Harris learned Tim had Down syndrome, "it was like the baby we expected had died," Jeannie says, "and was replaced with a burden that would destroy us."
Instead, they vowed to help their second of four sons get the most out of life. Charming and upbeat, Tim attended a mainstream school, was voted homecoming king and competes in the Special Olympics. His parents, entrepreneurs who subsidized the restaurant but hope it will turn a profit this summer, opened the diner in October 2010 after Tim studied food services. Today, with a 20-person staff that includes a manager and chef, Harris routinely speaks to groups of people with disabilities. "I can," he says, "make a difference."
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