AUBURN — Five years ago, Christian McGowan lost his class ring during a snowball fight at his best friend’s house in Lisbon.

Last week, the nearly pristine ring turned up in a donation box at the Auburn Goodwill looking a little too nice, and a little too random, to have been donated by its owner on purpose.

Shift supervisor Celene Boulet got on the case.

“She’s like our little detective here,” store manager Shirley Martin said. “You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff she’s done recently. She’s even reunited somebody with their $100 bill that was (accidentally) donated. I’m not kidding.”

Man and ring were reunited Tuesday.

“I never thought I’d see it again,” said McGowan, 21, of Lewiston. “The good nature of them going out of their way to help me find my ring was just awesome. It was just awe, surprise, excitement.”


McGowan, who graduated from Brunswick High School in 2012, got his class ring with a purple alexandrite stone his sophomore year. He lost it a year later.

“I was out there throwing snowballs with my friends; we were goofing off for an hour or two,” he said. “That evening I realized the ring was off my finger. We spent a couple hours that night in the dark trying to find it. The next two days, I mostly spent all day looking for it up and down the road. Never found it.”

He was panicked, and crushed.

“I really liked it a lot,” McGowan said.

Fast forward to last week when it surfaced at Goodwill amid “a bunch of random stuff,” Martin said. “It was such a unique-looking ring, we didn’t want to throw it in with our eBay stuff to send off — that’s what we do with all of our jewelry.”

McGowan’s name was engraved on the inside. Boulet reached out to the high school. Staff there contacted his mother and the connection was complete.

Where it’s been, how it got there, is a mystery.

“(Martin) said, ‘Hey, you’re the man of the hour right now,'” McGowan said. “She said, ‘We just want to make sure it got back to its rightful owner.'”

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