PRINCETON — One hundred and seventy-eight hours later, Dawna Todd of Malden and Amanda Stewart of Princeton have found the elusive Great Heartland Medallion, hidden by Heartland Bank and Trust in “Little Siberia.”
The 2013 Heartland Bank Great Medallion Hunt ended about 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Little Siberia softball field, located about one block northeast of Princeton High School. The medallion was tucked into yellow tubing on the top of the fencing which ran along the outer edge of the softball field, right in front of the scoreboard.
As winners of the 26th Great Medallion Hunt, Todd and Stewart will receive $1,000 in Princeton Chamber of Commerce gift certificates and will also ride in today’s (Saturday’s) Homestead Festival parade.
Returning to Little Siberia on Thursday afternoon, Todd and Stewart said they were determined to not give up in their search for the Great Medallion. They headed out on their search as soon as the first clue was announced. Right from the start, they thought the very first clue pointed to baseball. They went to every ball diamond, including Little Siberia, more than once. They went to the high school football field. They went to every park. One day, they put in 20 hours in their search. After a while, it was more of a question of where didn’t they go, Todd said.
As each clue came out, the Todd/Stewart team rechecked and quadruple checked some places. They searched for double-meanings to certain words and phrases in the clues. They carried copies of the clues with them wherever they went.
Finally, after 178 hours of searching, their perseverance paid off Wednesday evening when they found the medallion. Holding the medallion in her hands, she started crying, Todd said. Stewart was screaming.
When they met Thursday afternoon with the Heartland Medallion Committee members to receive their prize, Todd and Stewart did have one question for the committee. Since they won this year’s hunt, could they still join the medallion hunt next year? Committee members assured the women they were eligible to search again.
After all, the Great Medallion Hunt has been a tradition for the women for many years, a fun way to start the Homestead Festival weekend, they said. In fact, Todd has searched for the medallion every year since the Great Medallion Hunt began 26 years ago.
But now, with this year’s medallion in hand, both Todd and Stewart said it’s too soon to think about how they will spend their new Chamber dollars. Right now, they are just enjoying the winning.
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