A search for two missing Grey Cup rings has expanded to include all Value Village stores in the Greater Vancouver region.
Cory Mantyka, a former Lions offensive lineman, earned the rings as a member of the Lions’ championship teams from 1994 and 2000.
“Normally I keep them in a safety deposit box,” Mantyka told Black Press Media, but he took them out for an autograph signing in August.
Concerned about theft, he said his wife then hid them in some clothes in a closet at home, which were donated to Diabetes Canada by mistake.
The rings were forgotten until October, when Mantyka realized they hadn’t been returned to the safety deposit box and couldn’t find them in the jewelry box where he put them.
“We kind of turned the whole place upside down,” he recalled.
After three top-to-bottom searches of his home, Mantyka realized the rings were likely in the clothing donation.
He said Diabetes Canada told them the clothing went to the Langley Value Village.
After a month with no sign of the rings turning up, he said his wife suggested they go public.
Mantyka and the B.C. Lions issued a appeal on Monday, Dec. 2, for the return of the rings, which have Mantyka’s name and number along with the dates of the championship games.
Value Village spokesperson Sara Gaugl advised all Value Village stores in the Lower Mainland have been told to keep an eye out for the missing rings.
“They’ve all been on alert.”
That’s because the truck that made the pickup from the Mantyka delivered to various Value Village stores in the region, she explained.
“We are working closely with the nonprofit partner and the customer,” Gaugl told the Langley Advance Times.
Gaugl said Value Village staff are trained to search donated goods for items that may have been included by mistake, such as jewelry and money.
When what appears to be an accidental contribution is discovered, the items are kept off the sales floor, she said.
A few days ago, Gaugl related, a Value Village Store in Eastern Canada pulled several boxes of Christmas tree decorations from a store floor after a donor realized some ornaments with a sentimental value had been accidentally included.
“We managed to find some of them and return them to the customer.”
Mantyka spent the majority of his 13-year CFL career as an offensive lineman, with 203 regular seasons starts.
He was named CFL Western All-Star in 2004 and was a part of the Lions Grey Cup victories in 1994 against the Baltimore Stallions and the 2000 win against against the Montreal Alouettes.
Anyone who comes across the rings or has information about their location is urged to contact the BC Lions Football Club at 604-930-5466.