Brennan Breene provided the best wedding gift of all to newlyweds who had lost an envelope full of money on the way home Sunday.
The Bridgeville couple, David and Ashley Marasco, told police they did not know about the loss until after the bride left their reception in North Strabane and, at a traffic light, another motorist pointed to their photo album on the trunk of the car.
The envelope, containing $3,600 from family and friends, was missing.
Along came Mr. Breene, a real estate appraiser who was driving home after having visited his mother at an assisted living facility.
His mind was wandering. It was Father's Day, the first one he has spent without his dad, who died last year, he said.
Mr. Breene's eye caught the nondescript envelope lying in the middle of the road on Washington Pike. It had cash hanging out of it, he said.
Mr. Breene pulled over after he got farther up the road. For safety reasons, he said he was cautious as he went into the 35-mph roadway to retrieve the envelope.
"If nobody claimed it, I guess I would've kept it," he said, a thought he barely entertained after he took the package home and counted it. "I figured, in a couple of days, I'd go to the police with it."
So, he said, he looked for news reports about lost money. Scanning the Internet Monday morning, he found a report on the WPXI-TV website about the lost wedding money.
"I come from a big Irish Catholic family, and my parents kind of instilled in us to do the right thing," said Mr. Breene.
Within minutes of having read the news report, Mr. Breene went to Bridgeville police to turn it in.
There, he met the bride's mother.
"She was very, very thankful and relieved, to say the least," Mr. Breene said. "She couldn't believe they got it back and that I was as honest as that to just hand it over.
"To be quite honest with you, I would have loved to have had $3,600," he said, bemoaning the downturn in his own business. "But," he added, "my better conscience said it wasn't mine."
Jim McKinnon: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1939.