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Honest boys find, return church collection box

December 20, 2013

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Lamont Kirkesy, 7, Malachi Shelton, 10, and Jason Burgess, 9, all of Warren, met with Mayor Jim Fouts Dec. 19. The boys found a church collection box at Groesbeck Park Dec. 15 and returned it to its rightful place.

WARREN — Santa Claus was probably watching Dec. 15 when three young boys stumbled upon a strange object at Groesbeck Park, near Nile Mile Road and Van Dyke.

What the boys did next surely made Santa smile.

“We went to the park. We were going to the swings. We found a box,” said 9-year-old Jason Burgess, a fourth-grader who lives with his family on nearby Hudson. “We looked inside. There was money in it.”

Jason, 7-year-old Lamont Kirkesy and 10-year-old Malachi Shelton took the wooden box to Burgess’ grandmother, who identified a check inside payable to the First Church of Jesus Christ, on Packard. The boys said they tried to return the box and called Warren police when they went to the church and found the door unlocked. In addition to the check, the box also contained about $100 in cash.

Officers later made sure the box was returned to the church. It was reportedly taken after it was inadvertently left inside after the Sunday service.

For their honesty in returning the box to its rightful place, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts welcomed the boys to City Hall Dec. 19, where he read proclamations in their honor and offered them a small gift of appreciation on behalf of the city.

“You have given something that is priceless. You’ve given honesty and integrity. You serve as a model for all young people in the city of Warren, and as far as I’m concerned, a model for all other young people throughout the metro area,” Fouts said. “I want to personally thank you for the good deed that you did.”

Eric Brand, of Sterling Heights, Jason’s grandfather, said what the boys did was special.

“I think Santa Claus will have a little something extra in there for them,” Brand said.

About the author

Staff Writer Brian Louwers covers the cities of Warren and Center Line. He has worked for C & G Newspapers since 1998 and is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In his free time, he participates in the Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program and conducts interviews with military veterans for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

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