Found cash brings out Exeter boy's best
All the 8-year-old boy knew was that he had to do the right thing.
Max's good deed was recognized this week when he was honored by police and given a $100 reward by Dennis and Cheri Smith, the owners of Puddlejumpers children's shop in downtown Exeter.
She remembered having her hands full that day, between the money bag, other boxes, her purse, a cell phone and her dog.
Smith had no idea that she dropped the bag in the park, but she's glad Max and his dad, Guy Parenti of Exeter, came along a short time later and scooped it up.
"It was kind of hard to see it," Max recalled.
Max ran over and picked up the bag. He took a look inside and found lots and lots of bills. He said there were $50 bills, $20s and other smaller ones.
There was definitely some paper, but not the kind he expected.
"I heard him make a gasp and he said, 'Dad, look!'" Parenti said.
The find was made late in the day, so Max and his father took the money home, counted it out, and figured they would bring it to the police department the following day.
It didn't take too long for police to trace the money back to Puddlejumpers.
Parenti used the experience as a teachable moment for his young son.
Smith said she planned to deposit the money and would have eventually discovered it missing.
Police Capt. William Shupe also praised Max and his father for their honesty.
"This young man took some advice from his father and because of him the rightful owner got their property back. That's the definition of ethics. It's to do the right thing even when no one is looking," Shupe said.
"We're very proud about what Max did," said Leslie Leahy, school principal.
As for the $100 reward, Max is still trying to figure out how he'll spend it.