Dan Schwab, left, and Mike Cherniske, center, with one his clients after exchanging the money clip. | Courtesy Dan Schwab
IDAHO FALLS – Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, never before have so many Idahoans been out of work, according to a report from the Idaho Statesman.
A pandemic that is hurting many people financially makes one local man’s good deed particularly impactful, and it is not going unnoticed.
“For him to do what he did, I’m just — It had such an impact on me. I just thought, Are you kidding me?!,” Dan Schwab, the recipient of the good deed, tells EastIdahoNews.com.
Schwab says he stopped at Dad’s Travel Center in Idaho Falls Thursday to purchase a drink for him and his wife. They were in town on business from Star Valley, Wyoming.
He pulled a money clip out of his pocket to make the purchase and immediately left.
“When I got home (that) night, I was cleaning out my truck. I reached in my pocket and my money clip was gone,” Schwab says.
The money clip is made of pure silver and had about $400 attached to it. After some thought, he realized he had either left it at the gas station or somewhere in Idaho Falls.
One of his coworkers suggested he call Dad’s Travel Center.
“If someone found several hundred dollars and a money clip that’s worth more, they’re not going to turn it in, especially the way circumstances are right now,” Schwab said in response.
Schwab’s money clip | Courtesy Mike Cherniske
But when Schwab called up Dad’s Travel Center, a man who worked there told him someone had found the clip in the parking lot. He didn’t feel comfortable leaving it at the front desk so he held onto it, left a business card with his phone number and said he would give it to whoever claimed it.
“I called this guy and I said, ‘Dude, there’s not people left in the world like you,’ Schwab says, tearing up.
The man who found the clip is Idaho Falls resident Mike Cherniske. After meeting up with him, Schwab says Cherniske was so humble and nonchalant about it and said it was no big deal.
Regarding why he returned it, Cherniske simply says that’s just how he’s wired and he says he’s embarrassed by all the attention.
“It never occurred to me to do anything different. That’s just how I’m wired,” Cherniske says. “If I had kept it, I probably would have driven myself crazy feeling bad about it.”
Cherniske and his wife are both behavioral therapists who work with disabled kids. He says they’ve been fortunate to have employment during the shutdown. There was no way of knowing the financial situation of the person who owned the clip, he says, and he wanted to make sure whoever owned it, got it back.
Schwab owns TerraWest Conservancy, a habitat development and land management company in Afton, Wyoming. He also owns Renegade Wyoming, a private real estate location along Grey’s River near Alpine.
Schwab says he’s also been blessed to have a means of financial support during the pandemic, but he is so appreciative of Cherniske’s actions.
To express his thanks, Schwab invited Cherniske and his family to stay in his cabin in Star Valley for free this summer. Cherniske says his wife and kids were excited about the offer, but time will tell what they end up doing.
“I’m not too sure. If my kids seem interested, maybe. But if they forget about it, we might just let it go,” Cherniske says.