Web Content Display Web Content Display

Entrepreneur and TV Personality Marcus Lemonis Donates $10M to his Alma Mater Christopher Columbus High School in a Surprise Visit

Lemonis gave a $3.1 million 'tip' to the faculty and staff as part of his The Great American Tip Off

Marcus Lemonis, the entrepreneur, philanthropist, advocate and TV personality who leads Camping World as CEO and Chairman of the Board and also hosts CNBC's The Profit and Streets of Dreams and HGTV's The Renovator, made a surprise in-person announcement this yesterday morning gifting $10M at his alma mater ─ Christopher Columbus High School in Miami.



"We are so grateful to Marcus Lemonis for this transformative and historic gift," said Thomas Kruczek, Columbus President. "As a result of this gift, Columbus will be able to offer several important and innovative programs that will additionally prepare our young men for college readiness and career success. Marcus Lemonis is a shining example of living a life of value and service," said President Kruczek.

As part of his The Great American Tip Off campaign, a nation-wide call to action to show some extra love to the hard working Americans who serve us every day, Lemonis surprised the faculty and staff of Christopher Columbus High School with a $3.1M tip for their incredible service over the years. At the announcement, Marcus said, "When we think about the people that make this school run, the people that make it tick, the people that take care of the grounds and those in the classrooms that teach us, those for me are the most important service providers on the planet. Today, I'll be providing a $3.1M tip to everyone that works at the school, every single employee will receive a check for $18,000."



In addition to the $3.1M, Marcus donated another $7M to the high school so that it can fund important educational improvements. The two immediate additions will be a center for college and career guidance which is being named after two longtime Columbus teachers, the late Irene Culmo and Mrs. Pat Call who still works part-time at the school today and a success center named after the Desmond family who inspired Marcus to attend the high school.

Marcus launched The Great American Tip Off in November and pledged $1 million from his Lemon Aid Foundation to tip servers and workers across the country. Marcus is also enlisting some of his friends to join the movement to thank those in the service industry – he's made visits across the US to businesses with Amy Schumer, Jason Biggs, Kristen Bell, Rob Dydrek, among others.

Marcus graduated Christopher Columbus High School in 1991. For the announcement, students, administration, faculty and staff gathered at the Columbus Football Field.

View a video recap here.