— -- One fifth-grader had his former teachers beaming last month, after treating them to a night out before moving on to middle school.
Cody Dortch, 11, took seven of his eight elementary school teachers that he's had since kindergarten to a nice farewell dinner. He even paid the bill himself.
"They loved it," mom Ashley Dortch of Edmond, Oklahoma, told ABC News today. "One of his teachers, she said, 'I've been teaching for 23 years and that never happens. Some of them cried, and it was an eye-opener to realize that a simple gesture like this would mean so much. They've done so much for my kids -- giving them an extra hug when they needed it, or a joke to make them laugh."
Back in October, Dortch said heartache is what inspired her son to do a good deed for his teachers.
"His friend's brother passed away and he started thinking that he needs to show people that you don’t have that much time," she said. "All these teachers had been awesome through this. Every single one."
Cody began saving his money so he could take all of his teachers from Northern Hills Elementary School out to dinner. He requested extra chores at home for an increase in his allowance, offered services to the neighbors and did some babysitting. He even saved his birthday and Christmas money. All in all, Cody raised $200, his mother said.
On April 13, Cody hosted a dinner for his teachers at a local restaurant called Interurban.
"He had designed invitations on the computer," Dortch said. "There were a couple of teachers who do not teach anymore so we found their addresses and mailed it to them. We hand-delivered the invitations to the other teachers."
She added: "Dinner was a Wednesday night and [Cody] brought them all flowers. He wanted to show his appreciation for all they had done throughout the years. If it went over $200, I told the restaurant to put it on a separate check. I don’t know if the restaurant helped a little bit. All I know is the $200 covered it."
Cody's dad, TJ, is an AP chemistry teacher at Edmond Memorial High School. His father's hard work also inspired Cody to do something nice for his teachers, Dortch said.
Cody's fifth-grade teacher Marci McVay told ABC News that she and the other ladies were touched by what he did.
"We were just all chatting and Cody was sitting at the end of the table," she said. "At some point, halfway through the dinner, he stood up and made a very endearing speech saying, 'The dinner is on me.' He said something about knowing how hard his dad works and wanting to do something for the teachers that instructed him throughout the school years. It was very sweet."