CLAREMORE, Okla. -- The first city council meeting Daniel Cowan ever attended turned out to be a memorable one.
The Claremore Police Department honored the 16-year-old high school sophomore Tuesday for something he and his sister did on New Year's Eve.
On that day, they went to Walmart in Claremore with their parents and found a wallet lying outside the store. Cowan, who attends Sequoyah High School in Claremore, said he immediately felt bad for the owner.
"I've lost my wallet before," Cowan said. "I'm only 16, and it's probably the worst feeling ever. You just lost something really important to you."
He and his 15-year-old sister Kiara said they felt even worse when they opened the wallet. Inside was the owner's identification, credit cards and $700 in cash.
Cowan said the thought never crossed his mind to take the wallet because that's not the way his parents raised him. Instead he and his family decided to take the wallet to Claremore police in an attempt to reunite it with the rightful owner.
"Not only did it move me," Chief Stan Brown said, "but it moved some of my police officers."
Brown said had it not been for these virtuous siblings, the man missing the wallet may never have gotten it back.
"Sometimes we just need to be reminded that there's more good people than there are bad," Brown said. "This is one of those occasions where there was optimum set of circumstances for someone to do the wrong thing, and they chose to do the right thing instead. It proves that there are good people in this world."
Police gave Cowan a certificate of recognition and appreciation as well as a standing ovation at the city council meeting.
The wallet's owner, who chose to remain anonymous, even shared his thanks. He passed along a $50 gift card to a local restaurant so that Cowan and his family could enjoy a meal out together.
Cowan said his family will wait until his sister comes back from boarding school in Michigan to go out and eat. In the meantime, one of his teachers asked him to share what happened with other students.
"[My teacher said] make sure you give the word to all your friends and buddies that if you find a wallet, definitely do the right thing and turn it in," Cowan said, "because it's way better and more rewarding than just taking it."
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