Treasure hunt

John Simmons | May 09, 2018

A contestant shows off a a treasure found during the Downtown Hampton Kiwanis club's scavenger hunt.

The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Hampton, Virginia's Fun Hunt is a scavenger hunt with a twist. Instead of looking for “things,” teams of scavengers fan out across downtown Hampton searching for sites and a generous offering of snacks.

For the third-annual hunt this past April, the historic St. John's Episcopal Church and Parish House was on the list of places to discover, as was a restored 1920 Hampton carousel, the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina – even a spot on the sidewalk just beneath the SunTrust clock. The proof that a team had reached one of these prized destinations? Members posted a creative selfie on Facebook using the hashtag #funhunt.

Club member Brenda Garrett, who was one of the event's organizers, first conceived of the Fun Hunt while considering possible fundraisers for Kiwanis-supported charities. Garrett suggested that she and her fellow Kiwanians organize an event that would include enjoying food, wine and beer in downtown-area restaurants while showcasing the city's retail, service and tourism businesses.

The response has been impressive. This year, more than 160 people and more than 50 businesses joined in the fun. Thirteen restaurants and breweries served up tasty treats (barbecue sliders, sushi, smoked salmon, beef stew, mini doughnuts and cupcakes, mead, craft beer). Both the Hampton History Museum and the Virginia Air & Space Center offered free admission. The Downtown Hampton Development Partnership signed on as a lead sponsor.

Fun Hunt scavengers had a shot at more than US$2,500 in prizes, including an overnight stay at the Crowne Plaza Hampton Marina, dining and shopping gift certificates, massage packages, a drone and much more. 

“Some players were very competitive,” says Garrett, “while others just came to enjoy the tastings and shop in area businesses.”

This year's hunt raised nearly $5,000 to support youth leadership opportunities, charities and community involvement.

“And the Fun Hunt has great potential to grow,” Garrett adds. “This event shows what can be achieved when Kiwanians join forces with business leaders, local citizens show up to help, and together we all have fun.”


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