NFL linebacker Demone Harris had quite the week earlier this month.
The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker had flown to Baltimore on Oct. 15 to workout with the Ravens soon after being cut following Tampa Bay’s 37-26 loss against the Carolina Panthers in London.
Harris, 23, packed his bags and brought an engagement ring he planned to give longtime girlfriend Arianna Marinelli because it looked like he would have to fly to his native Buffalo, N.Y., for the proposal after meeting with the Ravens.
NFL linebacker Demone Harris rewarded a hotel housekeeper who found his engagement after the Baltimore Raven left it in his room earlier this month with $1,000 in gift cards. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
“About an hour and 20 minutes into my flight, I noticed that the ring was gone — it was missing,” Harris told ESPN. “The ring is gone. Now I’m like, ‘Come on, I’m at the airport, no job right now, no ring — and things are looking real bleak for me at the moment.'”
He returned to the Hyatt Place hotel but couldn’t find the ring, WGRZ-TV reported.
But that’s when things turned: He soon received a text message from the Ravens that they were signing him to its practice squad and that a housekeeper had found the ring in the hotel room’s kitchen area.
The team picked up the ring and overnighted it to Harris in time for him to pop the question, to which Marinelli said yes.
“I was more concerned about the ring than my job. Screw football, this is about the girl I’ve been with for seven years,” Harris told the news station.
His first order of business once he returned to Buffalo was finding the housekeeper, Yvonne Colahar.
“I thought it was a trash bag at first,” said Colahar, who has been with the hotel for 20 years. “I picked it up, looked inside and was like, ‘OMG. Like, wow.'”
Demone Harris was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the team’s loss to the Carolina Panthers in London earlier this month. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
As a reward, Harris gifted the mother of three who also works part time at the Ravens facility with $1,000 in gift cards.
“I told her to go pay some bills. … Go get ahead of her bills, just something nice,” Harris said. “My mother was a housekeeper at Erie County Medical Center at Buffalo for so many years working the night shifts. I just related to her story. She was just a genuine human, a genuine person. People aren’t like that anymore. I was so grateful for that.”
“I was like, ‘I was just doing my job.’ And he goes: ‘No. You were doing more than that. Because without it, I couldn’t have done what I did,’” Colahar explained. “It’s good to be honest, because without that, there’s nothing.”
Hotel assistant general manager Nina Shoemaker called Colahar an “amazing employee” and the “heart of our hotel.”