By Debra J. Groom
Audrey Avery of Fulton was out every day, no matter what the weather, looking for the special medallion.
“Tuesday we were out in the rain and snow for an hour and a half at Oswego Falls Park — we looked like the Gorton’s fisherman,” she joked.
Her persistence paid off. At 1:12 p.m. Wednesday, Avery, 45, of South Fourth Street, found the hidden medallion at Van Buren Park.
“My husband pulled in on the Tarvia by the tennis courts,” she said. “He said ‘let’s start here on the left.’ I started to scour the perimeter of trees and went into a pricker bush. I said ‘it’s got to be here.’”
Then she walked a bit further. She looked near another tree.
“I looked and said ‘oh my God, there it is,” she said. “I was so excited. It was tied with a big bread tie.”
The Treasure Fulton Parks 2014 Medallion Hunt contest began April 9. People had to read all the advertisements in each edition of The Valley News to look for the clue as to where the medallion was hidden.
There were four clues — one to run in the paper April 9, April 12, April 16 and April 19.
There now will be no clue in today’s paper since Avery found the medallion on Wednesday. She hunted every day from April 9 with her friend, Donna LeVea.
Just what made Avery go to Van Buren Park?
“It was the second clue,” she said. That one read “Go for a joy ride with three friends or go alone down the slippery slope.”
“I knew there was a slope at Van Buren behind the tennis courts,” Avery said. “Then today’s (Wednesday’s) clue said something about picnicking rain or shine. Van Buren is one of three parks with pavilions.”
Strangely enough, the “slippery slope” in the clue had nothing to do with the slope Avery said exists at Van Buren.
Kelley Weaver, a member of Friends of Fulton Parks who came up with the idea for the contest, said the slope refers to the slide on the playground equipment.
(See accompanying box for explanation of all four clues, including the one that was never published).
Avery said she enjoyed the contest immensely and the Friends of Fulton Parks succeeded in its goal to get people out to visit all the city’s parks and see what they have to offer.
“I’ve lived in Fulton my whole life,” said Avery, who is very familiar with Voorhees Park near her house. “But Patrick, Lincoln and Quirk parks, I never knew they existed. Now I know where all the park are.”
She took in so much while searching in the parks that she called Weaver to discuss issues she believes should be addressed at various sites.
“I might even get involved” with the parks group, Avery said.
She will receive her prize — a check for $250 from The Valley News — at a ceremony at 4 p.m. April 22 at Recreation Park. She receives $250 because she is a Valley News subscriber.
If she had not been a subscriber, she would have won $150.
Even though the medallion has been found, the other park contest continues through today.
People visit the Park of the Day (find out which one by visiting valleynewsonline.com) each day to find colorful stones with the park name on them.
People should collect one stone from each of the 10 parks and bring their collection to the ceremony April 22 at Recreation Park. People with the most complete collections will receive smaller prizes.
Avery said she also has been collecting stones and will be back out in the parks to complete her stone collection.
Medallion contest clues explained
April 9, Clue 1: Swingers will be thrilled to play here!
Swingers refer both to the tennis players swinging their rackets, and people swinging on the swingsets.
April 12, Clue 2: Go for a joy ride with three friends or go alone down the slippery slope.
There is a 4-seated bouncer at the park, to “go for a joy ride with 3 friends,” and the “slippery slope” is the slide.
April 16, Clue 3: Have a picnic or a celebration, come rain or shine.
The pavilion provides a place to picnic or have a celebration, with shelter from rain and sun.
April 19, Clue 4: Tennis anyone? Keep your feet on the ground, and look to the trees.
Van Buren Park is the only park with tennis courts. The medallion was tied to a small tree, within easy reach of the ground.