Alla Kotlyar gets tired of all the “doom and gloom” in the news. That’s why she watches football.
“Being a Patriots fan, it’s almost always good news,” said Kotlyar, who runs a gravestone company in Massachusetts.
But on Valentine’s Day, while visiting her daughter and 5-month-old granddaughter in Center City, Kotlyar was on the receiving end of an unexpected act of kindness in the City of Brotherly Love.
Now, she’s got some good news to share herself.
Kotlyar lost her wallet – which she said contained about $600 and several credit cards – Thursday night when it apparently slipped out of the baby stroller around 12th and Chestnut Streets. She was on the phone canceling her credit cards when her other line rang.
“I had to put the woman on hold because I saw a Pennsylvania area code, someone that I didn’t know,” Kotlyar said. “I answered and he said, ‘I just found your wallet.'”
Kotlyar’s husband went to retrieve the wallet – with the crisp $100 bills, cards and all – from a man they only know (until they read this story) as Tim. The husband gave him $50 for his honesty.
“He sent me a note saying, ‘Thank you, you didn’t have to,’” Kotlyar said of the $50. “He was very apologetic for even opening the wallet. Thank God [he] did, or I would’ve never seen it again.”
Kotlyar, who lives about an hour outside of Boston, is such a die-hard Patriots fan that she was watching a replay of the Patriots-Chiefs AFC Championship on Sunday as she recounted the lost-wallet story in an interview. She said the experience has given her a new view of Philadelphia.
“I have really good feelings about Philly now,” she said.
Perhaps good enough to dump the Pats and become an Eagles fan? Not likely, she said.
“The people are very, very nice,” she said of Philadelphians, “but I don’t think so.”
Reached Monday afternoon, Tim McLaughlin downplayed his good deed.
“I felt bad because she was from Massachusetts, and it had her cards and license and everything,” said McLaughlin, who lives in Fairmount and does modeling for artists at local universities. “If it was me, I’d be heartsick. I’d hope someone would do that for me.”
Kotlyar said she still can’t believe a stranger would be so considerate.