6-year-old Kona boy returns ring lost 18 years ago

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David Kidder, then a Konawaena High School senior, only had his class ring a couple of weeks before he lost it nearly two decades ago.

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David Kidder, then a Konawaena High School senior, only had his class ring a couple of weeks before he lost it nearly two decades ago.

It was just a day after his senior prom in spring 1997 when he took to the waves at Banyans surf spot to squeeze in a morning body boarding session before heading to work at Sure Save Supermarket, now known as ChoiceMart, in Captain Cook. Little did he know, it would be the last time the then-17-year-old would see the gold-colored, green-stoned ring.

“I was launching out into the water and it fell off my finger and I’ve never seen it since,” Kidder told West Hawaii Today Monday evening. “It was a good surf day, had some waves and I jumped out, and, Banyans is all reef, so once I lost it, it was gone. I just put it out of my mind and I never really thought about it after that.”

Kidder worked as a part-time bag boy at the South Kona grocery store and had saved up his money to buy the ring. While he said it did not have much significance, it was a memento.

“It was from my school and just had things I liked about,” he said, “and, the fact that I worked hard to get it.”

Eighteen years later, the ring is back on his hand.

Shortly before sunset Thursday, 6-year-old Max Germond, an avid surfer and second-grade student at Kahakai Elementary School, was with his father at the very same surf spot where Kidder lost the ring.

There, Germond was helping a friend, a regular at the surf spot known as “Desi,” look for a lost fin. The man found his fin just feet offshore of Kona Bali Kai, as well as a ring.

“He gave the ring to me and I gave it to my dad,” the youngster said. “I thought (the ring) was really cool.”

That evening, his father, Philip Bolek, thought nothing of the find, leaving it in a bag. The next morning, he took a better look at the ring.

“It was pretty clean, just a little crud on one side,” said Bolek, who initially thought it could only have been a few months old. “But, you could still read ‘Konawaena High School’ and ‘1997.’”

Also visible was a name: David Kidder.

With a name, Bolek took to Facebook on Friday morning to track down the ring’s owner.

“We would’ve looked even if there wasn’t a name on it,” Bolek said. “It’s so easy to track people down.”

After finding a profile for Kidder, he sent a message and hours later the Kona resident responded. Kidder said he was a little confused by the message that Germond had found something of his at Banyans because he had not been to the area for at least a couple of years. But not long after it dawned on him.

“No way, that’s gotta be my class ring,” Kidder said he remembered thinking.

Saturday afternoon, Germond and his parents met the ring’s long-lost owner at Banyans. Kidder said the ring he worked so hard for nearly two decades ago appeared to be in near-perfect condition with just a little growth of coral or other marine life. Though it no longer fits on his left hand, he is still able to wear it on his right hand.

“I’m probably going to take it to a jeweler and get it fixed up, and put it in a glass case,” Kidder said.

“I’m not gonna lose that thing again.”

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As a token of appreciation, Kidder gave Germond a $20 reward for the work it took to return the ring.

“I know they didn’t want anything but they made the effort to try and find me so I figured, hey give the kid something to make him smile,” Kidder said. “I’m really happy. It was really special that they took the time to look me up.”

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