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Teen rewarded for returning wallet

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Tequesta Allen hesitated when she found a wallet stuffed with $1,110. The high school junior knew it would buy her first car, but she decided the right thing to do was to give it back.

Now her honesty is being rewarded.

Strangers impressed by the 16-year-old's integrity have been sending notes of encouragement along with checks for her car fund _ totaling more than the amount she found in the wallet.

The wallet belonged to West Palm Beach police officer Frank DiStefano, who planned to put the money toward buying a house.

Donations already received by Allen total $800, and a check for $500 is expected.

"I'm really religious, and I know that if I do something good, (God) will bless me," Allen said. "And he did."

Allen's ROTC instructor, Col. Steve Cotter, surprised her Monday with an envelope of money and notes.

"I would like to believe that "virtue is its own reward' (or should be)," wrote a retired lawyer who contributed $250. "On reflection I decided there was nothing wrong with giving honesty a little push by showing you and others that sometimes virtue can result in unexpected benefits."