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Wendy Reuer, Published December 13 2013

VIDEO: Good Samaritan receives surprise gift box with 28 crisp $100 bills

HAWLEY, Minn. – Since returning $2,800 she found in the parking lot of a Moorhead McDonald’s, Erica Clark has been inundated with media attention and gifts from well-wishers who want to repay her act of selflessness and integrity.

On Friday night, Clark, an assistant coach for the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton boys’ basketball team, received her biggest surprise: a gift box full of 28 crisp $100 bills presented by WDAY-TV reporter Kevin Wallevand.

Wallevand presented the surprise to Clark just before the start of a varsity basketball game in Hawley. He said an anonymous donor asked WDAY to present Clark with the gift after seeing her story in the news.

On Tuesday, as Clark was leaving the Moorhead McDonald’s after eating lunch with her parents, she found an envelope in the parking lot. She brought the envelope with $2,800 in $100 bills to the Police Department, where officers tracked the money to a Wells Fargo bank.

A Moorhead man withdrew the money from the bank to buy a new truck. He realized it was missing when he went to buy the truck, and returned to the bank to see if he had lost the money there.

Wallevand said someone who wished to remain anonymous heard about what Clark did and wanted to do something to honor her.

Clark said Friday she had no idea she would be given such a gift. WDAY-TV alerted only her father, head D-G-F basketball coach Mike Clark.

“It was so hard to keep this secret,” he said.

Friday night’s gift wasn’t the only donation that honored Clark’s good deed. A man – who also wished to remain anonymous – dropped off an envelope with $200 for Clark at The Forum on Thursday.

Moorhead police and Wells Fargo also recognized her good deed.

The man who lost the money has asked to remain nameless, but met with Clark on Wednesday and also offered her a reward.

The Minnesota State University Moorhead student who is studying elementary inclusive education said she isn’t sure what she will do with all of the gifts, but the attention has been a shock to her reserved demeanor.

“It’s definitely been overwhelming,” she said. “I just want to send a huge thank-you to (everyone).”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530