Sleuthing for soup: Scavenger hunt fundraiser set


GREENFIELD – Grab your thinking cap and your magnifying glass, and get ready take a close look at downtown Greenfield.

Next weekend’s Souper Sleuth scavenger hunt invites players to get outside, get some exercise and notice the details in their community — all while supporting the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen.

Clues and directions lead participants on a three-mile route through downtown Greenfield, beginning at the soup kitchen at 202 E. Main St. The event takes place over a three-day period, from May 19 through 21, so participants are welcome to complete the hunt all at once or stretch it out.

“However you can fit it into your schedule,” said Jill Ebbert, director of operations for the soup kitchen.

The goal of the quest is not for participants to collect objects as in a traditional scavenger hunt — but to answer questions about their surroundings, explained Ebbert.

Ebbert gave an example of a clue: “Walk two blocks west from the soup kitchen parking lot, then turn left and walk until you get to the playground. How many swings are painted blue, and how many are painted red?”

Ebbert cautions that — because of the directional route — the clues must be done in order.

“You can’t skip ahead, and if you do part of it one day and another part the next, you have to take up where you left off,” Ebbert said.

Clue sheets for this fundraiser can be purchased for $20 at the soup kitchen from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. T-shirts for the event also are available for $15.

Participants can turn in their completed clue sheets to the soup kitchen any time during the following week, May 22 through 26. Organizers will go through the sheets, pulling out correctly completed forms, and then randomly select five winners for gift card prizes.

Ebbert picked up the idea for the Souper Sleuth during a recent visit to Seattle. She accompanied her daughter on the Gumshoe Walk, an annual neighborhood stroll that serves as both a fitness event and a fundraiser for the local community center. She transplanted that idea from Seattle to central Indiana to benefit the soup kitchen, dubbing it Souper Sleuthing Through the Streets of Greenfield.

Ebbert’s partner in planning is Abigail Whitaker, a graduate student in nonprofit management at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

After taking a graduate class entitled “Do the Homeless Count?” Whitaker decided to commit her required 20 hours of community service to something that impacted the homeless. As an employee of Covance, she became aware of the soup kitchen through a company outreach program.

Whitaker approached Ebbert and asked her how she could help. The scavenger hunt idea was something that Ebbert had on the back burner for years. Ebbert turned much of the planning and organization over to Whitaker.

In addition to being a fundraiser, the event is designed to familiarize people with businesses and history in Greenfield, Whitaker said.

“Get outside to get some exercise or just have fun with friends and family,” Whitaker said.

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Souper Sleuthing Through Downtown Greenfield takes play May 19 through 21. Clue sheets are available for $20 at the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen, 202 E. Main St.