When a famous Hollywood actor calls your good turn “an example of excellence and a source of pride for your community,” you know it’s a good day.
Seems like Illinois Eagle Scout Tristin Budzyn-Barker has had nothing but good days recently.
It started when he found a wallet belonging to actor Chris Hemsworth — Thor himself — while in California. He used the address inside to track down Hemsworth’s manager and returned the wallet — with all the cash still inside, of course. That good deed landed Tristin a spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. While on Ellen, he met Hemsworth and received $10,000 in cash to help pay for college.
Now, I’ve already blogged about Tristin’s appearance on Ellen, but today I’m able to add some more details to this remarkable story. First, Tristin’s mom sent me a picture of the framed letter Hemsworth gave to Tristin on Ellen. You can see what Hemsworth wrote at the end of the post.
And second, I was able to talk with Tristin to learn more about this series of fortunate events.
Bryan: How did you realize it was Chris Hemsworth’s wallet you had found?
Tristin: He had his license in his wallet, and we used the address on it to track him down. But we found out that it was the manager’s office address and we ended up sending it to him.
Bryan: What was your first reaction?
Tristin: My mom said, “well he’s cute, so he must be someone.” I didn’t recognize him at first either because in all of his movies he has long hair, and on the license he had short hair. When we read the name, we only read his first and middle name, so we didn’t know that way either. But when we found his last name and Googled it to solve our suspicions — we didn’t know what to do. We were too excited.
Bryan: How did you learn you’d be on Ellen?
Tristin: We got a call from the staff of Ellen saying they wanted to interview us. I was smiling through the whole pre-interview over Skype, and I was in shock to hear that they were flying us out.
Bryan: What was it like being on the show?
Tristin: To be honest, I would have just been happy enough to be in the audience. They had the whole audience all pumped up for the show, and seeing the celebrities on stage was amazing.
Bryan: What excited you most?
Tristin: When we were sitting in the audience and then they announced that Chris Hemsworth was in the building, my family couldn’t stop looking at each other, saying, “He’s here?”
Bryan: What happened next?
Tristin: They brought up my whole story and then called me on stage.
Bryan: And of course you met Hemsworth and got your own wallet and $10,000 cash. What will you do with the money?
Tristin: The money was intended for college, and that’s what we plan to use it for.
Bryan: How did Scouting values help you decide what to do when you found this wallet?
Tristin: The 12 points of the Scout Law are important, and trustworthy is the first. I believe that honesty is the most important. And you don’t have to be a Scout to live by the Law, either. Just to know you did the right thing feels good and makes whoever you help feel great, too.