TikToker, Detroit Tigers surprise traffic controller, single mom with $50,000, gifts

Detroit News

Zachery Dereniowski ― known as MD Motivator on social media and is known for spreading kindness by giving strangers cash, cars and other gifts ― picked Linita Edge for free tickets to the Tigers on Mother’s Day and posted the big reveal on his Instagram page Tuesday. The Detroit Tigers also posted news about the surprise and photos on its Twitter account.

Edge was directing traffic when Dereniowski, who has 3 million followers on Instagram and 16 million on TikTok, approached her and handed her a dollar with a note in an envelope. He told her she could keep the dollar if she opened the note and read it. The note invited her to join him inside Comerica Park.

In the video, she told Dereniowski that she was on duty and she couldn’t go. He told her he got permission from Edge’s supervisor for her to leave her post.

Edge checked with her bosses via walkie-talkie and they confirmed she could leave, so she went with Derenkiowski. Edge has been a traffic controller for the Detroit Police Department since 2016, according to a Facebook post by city officials.

Before walking into the park, he asked her what her dream was.

“My No. 1 dream is for my kids to make it, you know to excel,” she answered. “I don’t need a house on a hill, the fanciest cars, but if they continue to work hard and achieve and stay focused.”

The two made their way onto the ballfield where they were joined by Detroit Police Chief James White and other officials. There it was announced Edge was being given tickets to a Tigers game and a postgame fireworks show as well as $500.

But the kindess didn’t end there. Dereniowski also started a GoFundMe page for Edge called “Let’s Change Edge’s Life.” As of Wednesday, donations totaled more than $52,000.

Overwhelmed by emotion, Edge dropped to her knees and threw her arms in the air after hearing the news over the stadium’s PA system. “Oh my God!” she exclaimed as she cried.

Officials with the Detroit Tigers said Edge also will receive pizza from Little Caesar’s for a year, a spa day at MotorCity Casino Hotel and a suite night at the Fox Theatre.

After, Edge said “I’m happy. I could die happy.”

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