It’s All About the Kids

I had a blast almost participating in the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Washington Invitation Scavenger Hunt last year. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, dozens of teams run all around the D.C. area finding obscure information about the city, performing silly tasks, and tracking down random objects. It’s an exhausting, daylong experience, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. Oh, yeah, and it raises money for the kids, too.

Now, by almost participating, I mean I was not on any of those teams, but I — along with my able assistant, Hillary — followed one of the teams around the city making a little documentary about the competition (of which I made brief mention last month). Each of us had a MiniDV camera, and we dogged the team’s steps for the entire day. The team, comprising several members of our creative department (and one honorary member), was named ABC-Ya-Later, a combination of our company name and a little arrogant bravado. As WTOP’s “Man About Town” Bob Madigan interviewed them, they confidently proclaimed themselves the winners before the event had even begun. Of course, they did end up winning the event, so I suppose it wasn’t just idle boasting.

Fast-forward to one year later — next Saturday, April 12 — and the event is rolling around again, with the team eagerly looking forward to repeating its victory. Or what’s left of the team anyway; only two of the original five members will be returning this time around. I’m picturing some ’80s hair band still clinging to the group’s name and past glory as they play a low-rent venue with only the drummer and bassist still on board. Still, to be fair, the remaining members — Collin and Nello — are probably the most... enthusiastic of the bunch. And the open slots mean that I can actually participate this year. The other two recruits are Maureen, a marathon runner, and Matt, a lead guitarist (see, I knew I was getting somewhere with that band analogy).

We’re pretty confident in our strategy, having succeeded with it once before. I won’t reveal too much (since I’m sure our competition has been following this page avidly, just on the off chance I’ll give something away), but it’s a combination of task specialization, organized geographic coverage, and serious fundraising. That last one’s particularly important, since points are awarded for monies raised, plus a bonus for bringing in more than any other team; we fully plan to be that team (if you’d like to make a donation, e-mail me using the link at the left). Several of the other participants with whom I’ve spoken are really doing this as a fun group outing, looking forward to spending time with their friends as they accomplish something worthwhile. Our team, we’re all about the victory. Oh, yeah, and helping the kids.

A couple of my coworkers, Adam and Julia, are planning to play the videographer roles this time around. We’ll see if this year’s team ends up looking as good as last year’s.

I just mean on camera — the win’s a foregone conclusion.


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