In some cultures the number 4 is considered bad luck, but for Nichole Messina that number is ringing in all kinds of good juju.

"It's my new lucky number," said the 23-year-old Brentwood resident.

Messina explained that on the Fourth of July, while out enjoying an afternoon of fun in the sun with friends, she unknowingly lost her 2008 Deer Valley High School class ring in the beach area at Rio Vista's Sandy Beach.

"I had taken it off because my hands were getting swollen from the sun, and I put it inside my backpack," said Messina. "I think when I went to get my clothes out of the backpack; I think it came out then."

Albeit the loss of ring itself was bad luck; what was to transpire over the next four weeks was not.

Four days later at Sandy Beach, a precocious little girl began digging in the sand with the new shovel and bucket she had just received for her fourth birthday.

"I was digging a hole at Sandy Beach and I found a ring," Shy Vosefski said with a little lisp.

Her mom, Katie Yates, chimed in, "She thought she found a treasure, 'cause she watches Sponge Bob and she likes the pirate's treasure."

A treasure it was, but the true treasure hunt had just begun as the family tried to locate the owner of the ring, whose name was clearly engraved on the inside: Nichole Michelina Messina.

Being new to the area, Yates enlisted the help of her friend Pam Donoghue to track down Messina.


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Donoghue went right to work and found and messaged Messina on Facebook, but had no idea that Facebook had an "Other" message box for non-friends, which is where the message ended up.

Donoghue also tried to reach Messina at her place of employment, which she also found on Facebook. She said, "They (Future Ford) said she doesn't work here."

Frustrated, but not defeated, Donoghue reached out to the local Rio Vista newspaper and Antioch News for assistance in locating Messina.

Within minutes of Antioch News' Facebook post requesting help to locate the Deer Valley alum, 67 people had shared the post and Messina was found.

"I've never seen so many shares, unless it was something weird," Donoghue said.

"Oh yeah," Yates said. "That made me want to cry, that was so cool."

Messina was at her niece's fourth birthday party when her phone began ringing off the hook with text messages regarding her class ring.

Donoghue said that Messina told her she had "36 text messages on her phone, people saying, 'Nichole somebody found your ring.'"

"My aunt had seen it ... my elementary schoolteacher saw it ... everybody knew everything," said Messina. "I still can't believe everything is happening."

The foursome (Messina, Donoghue, Yates and Shy) met to exchange the ring a few days later.

At the exchange, Messina surprised Shy with a ring of her own for selflessly relinquishing her newly found treasure.

With a little laugh, Messina thought about the ring, then said, "I believe it was a size 4."