Halloween handout gone wrong turns into gratitude

  • Article by: JIM ADAMS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 13, 2008 - 11:00 PM

After a news story and a lot of prayer, an anniversary ring accidentally dropped into a trick-or-treat bag is returned to owner.

A Ramsey postal worker received a special, mysterious delivery Thursday.

Mike Janiak, 44, wasn't optimistic about recovering his diamond wedding band after it apparently slipped into a child's treat bag on Halloween night.

After all, he had dropped candy into more than 1,000 kids' bags that night during a community outreach at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Ramsey. The ring, slightly large for his finger, was missing afterward, and he figured it slipped off as the temperatures dropped that night while his wife and their 8-year-old twins were playing games and warming up inside the church.

On Wednesday a story about the missing ring, a 12th anniversary gift from his wife, ran in the Star Tribune's North Extra section. On Thursday morning, he noticed something odd: the mailbox flag was up. Janiak was doing chores outside the family's home near Xkimo and Sundown Streets and walked over for a look.

"I flipped it open and said, 'Wait a minute, that looks just like my ring,'" he said. It was indeed the gold band with three diamonds he hadn't seen for almost two weeks. "There was no note or anything," he added.

"The prayers apparently got through," Janiak said. "There's a heck of a good connection there."

He and his wife, Tina, had spread word of the missing ring to leaders at Lord of Life and his parents' prayer chain at another church.

After the newspaper story appeared, Janiak said, his wife informed him that the ring was worth about $900, more than double the $400 he had told a reporter.

He said he's considering a few changes, such as not wearing the ring on cold days or getting it resized. He said he would also like to thank the mysterious ring bearer for returning it in good condition.

Tina Janiak, a nurse, sent a note to church staff thanking them for telling a reporter about the ring and "reminding us about the little miracles that happen everyday. God Bless."

Jim Adams • 612-673-7658

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