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SMITH: A bar's merry gift, a boyfriend's merry proposal

About four years back, a patron of The Round Robin tavern felt the not entirely original urge to jot a note on a dollar bill, sign it and staple it to the ceiling.

Bill Cutting, who manages and co-owns the Mendocino Avenue bar, recalls thinking, "I don't know if I like that."

But he let the dollar be. Others, of course, followed.

Now remodeling the joint, Cutting decided it's time the scrawled, yellowed bills go.

"It took four guys three and a half hours to pull them all down," he said. "I found one that says, &‘This is the one that started it all' and has some girl's name on it."

Cutting took the currency to Exchange Bank, which followed rules requiring that defaced bills be sent to the feds, who confirmed their authenticity and forwarded them to the incinerator.

With the full face value credited to his account, Cutting pleased his mom and business partner, Shirley Cutting, by writing a $1,000 check to The Living Room. That's the day center for homeless and at-risk women at Church of the Incarnation, just down the street from the bar.

Shirley's a faithful eight-year volunteer there, helping to prepare breakfast and lunch every Monday. She's set to retire in January.

So today the grateful sorts running The Living Room are using money from the Round Robin ceiling to buy winter coats, umbrellas and such for struggling women and their children, and they're looking for someone with a heart like Shirley's to help feed them.

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