GF Tribune: Great Falls High kid rescues church money

Photo: Courtesy of Kristen Cates, Great Falls Tribune Writer

By Kristen Cates, Tribune Writer

January 16, 2015

Rarely does Cory Reeves get to see the good side of teenagers.

As the Great Falls police detective assigned as the school resource officer at Great Falls High, Reeves sees his fair share of kids who have done something wrong.

So it was refreshing to him — and the rest of Great Falls High staff — when Braxton Lorenz and his friend Marvin Simmons walked into Reeves’ office Monday morning with a bank envelope full of cash and checks.

“I’m convinced many adults wouldn’t have turned in that money,” Reeves said.

Lorenz, a sophomore, was walking in the south doors of the main campus with Simmons, a CMR graduate, on Monday morning when he noticed a First Interstate Bank deposit bag off to the right. It turns out the bank bag belonged to Union Bethel AME Church and their church treasurer Kathy Reed — who is a special education vocation teacher for Great Falls Public Schools — had dropped it earlier in the day.

Lorenz said he didn’t even look in the bag before walking it straight into Reeves’ office.

“I knew if I looked in it that temptation would always be on my mind,” he said.

Reeves found a deposit slip and nearly $1,000 in checks and cash in the envelope. He talked to staff at the school and made contact with the church, too.

Reed said she brought the bank bag with her to school that day because she was going to make the deposit on behalf of her church during her lunch break and before she headed over to CMR later in the day.

“I had the bag under my arm, and I was carrying my gloves and my purse,” Reed said, as any teacher can attest to hauling multiple items with them to school each day.

She didn’t know the bag was missing until she went to make the deposit at the bank after a doctor’s appointment.

Reed said she didn’t panic and went back to the school thinking she’d left it there. She retraced her steps and when she didn’t find the money was beginning to panic just a little.

What she didn’t know is that while she was starting to panic, Reeves had sent an email out to all staff praising Lorenz and his friend for doing the right thing.

“I just assumed if it’s found, it’s gone,” Reed said.

Reed asked another staffer to help her search her car one more time before she had to tell her church family she’d lost the money. Union Bethel AME is a small church, and every penny donated makes a huge difference in its budget.

Reed hadn’t seen the email, but the other staffer had and Reed felt a huge sense of relief, and a huge sense of gratitude for Lorenz.

“He restored my faith in youth and young people,” Reed said. “I was wrong to automatically think it was gone.”

Lorenz shrugs off the attention. He had no idea the money belonged to a church. He never looked in the envelope.

Story Courtesy: Great Falls Tribune: Great Falls High kid rescues church money (January 16, 2015)