You know that sickening, gut-wrenching feeling you get when you misplace your wallet?
Shawn Bonnough knows it. Knows it really well. And that feeling intensifies when you know the wallet contains a wad of cash. Oh, and the company payroll.
And you have no idea where it is.
The Vernon man had stopped at the 7-Eleven Petrocan on Middleton Way just before noon last week for fuel.
Wearing his new company jacket with smaller pockets, Bonnough’s wallet was in its customary place, the left-side pocket. Or so he thought as he left the building and headed to his next appointment.
It was at the appointment, a half-hour after he had left the 7-Eleven, that Bonnough noticed the wallet, containing a large sum of cash along with company credit cards which are used to pay employees, was not in the pocket (Bonnough’s company trains indigenous people in the use of heavy-duty equipment).
“I felt awful,” said Bonnough.
Back at 7-Eleven, Vernon Secondary students Ethan White (Grade 11), Jacob Beauchamp and Jayden Banner (Grade 12s) had arrived to pick up some lunch. As they entered the store, just inside the door on the floor, Beauchamp noticed a thick black wallet.
“I asked people in the store and outside if they had dropped the wallet and nobody said they did,” said Beauchamp.
The trio of teens never looked inside the wallet. Never noticed some of the bills sticking up from inside. They simply gave the wallet to the store clerks, picked up their lunches and went back to school.
“I know that if I dropped my wallet, I’d want someone else to turn it in,” said Banner.
“We’ve been brought up pretty straight-forward: Don’t rob people,” said White. “If my mom or dad lost their wallet, I’d want them to get it back.”
Bonnough retraced his steps and returned to the 7-Eleven. As he entered, the staff smiled and said, “Are you looking for something?”
The staff didn’t get the name of the boys but Bonnough gave the clerk his card and said if they came back in, please call him because he wanted to thank them.
Banner, Beauchamp and White returned, and were put in touch with Bonnough. All four met at 7-Eleven last week where each was given a monetary reward by Bonnough for their honesty.
“These boys have restored my faith in today’s youth,” said Bonnough. “What they did helped people get paid. They made a difference.”
Bonnough also dropped off gifts for the store clerks.