You may have seen them: Teams of Miami Lakers running around town, wearing costumes as they fulfilled 83 “missions” in the Great Miami Lakes Scavenger Hunt.
Think it sounds easy? First place winners the Loch Isle Gang accumulated 40,300 points. Hot on their heels were the Jingle Belles with 40,000 points followed by the Fantastic Fam, with 39,900 points.
“I don’t know who had more fun, if it was us or the kids,” said Cynthia Pereda of team Fantastic Fam, which included neighbors Laura Marin and Yulet Miguel. “Our husbands made fun of us, told us we were grown women acting like children.”
Of 20 active teams, five completed all 83 tasks. They had to document demonstrating a Christmas story; reading The Miami Laker; reenacting the Beatles’ famous stroll across Abbey Road and enjoying a South Florida “snow day.”
The point of the game – which the town’s Economic Development Committee ran Nov. 19 – Dec. 6 with an active leader board on the GooseChase app -- was to have fun, learn about town history and visit the businesses which sponsored it.
“It was an ingenious way of the town’s EDC to get people
to participate in an event while social distancing, to support the local businesses,” said Javier Ley-Soto, whose Loch Isle Gang won the Scavenger Hunt. “They really need it.”
Committee members and town staff awarded bonus points for creativity and costumes.
Sponsors included BankUnited; Caution Crossfit & Fitness; CMX Cinemas Miami Lakes
17; Diced; Dog House Miami; Dunkin’; Eye Candy Eyewear Miami Lakes; Family Dentistry & Orthodontics of Miami Lakes; Gerardo’s Marketplace; Giardino Gourmet Salads; Guernica & Associates, CPA; Gymnastics Palace; JP Realty Inc.; Labrada Dental; Lakes Orthodontics; Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt; Miami Lakes Sports Shop; Orangetheory Fitness; El Pimiento Restaurant; Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa; Pizza Scene; Remedy’s Nutrition & Holistic Medicine; Rilion Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of Miami Lakes; Signature Nails; Shula’s Steak 2; Snow’s Jewelers; Specialty Smiles; Styles Boutique Miami; The Keyes Company; Vicky Bakery and Vie De France Bakery & Café.
One mission, called “Only
in Miami Lakes,” prompted a competitor to say it was the only place one could watch a Miami Dolphins game in a bar (Shula’s 2 Steak & Sports on Main Street) named for the winningest coach.
Competitors had to “fish” from fountains in town, make donuts from kits bought at Dunkin’ and explore Miami Lakes.
“I didn’t know the Lake Patricia area and hadn’t been to the BankUnited area,” said Beatriz Azcuy of second place finishers the Jingle Belles. “We had to collect business cards from places I didn’t know existed.”
They also had to dig for facts, e.g., the Miami Lakes Sports Shop will embroider gear, outfit teams and replace racquet strings and grips.
The first three teams won items valued at over $500, including pool floats from Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa; a membership and duffle bag from Orangetheory Fitness; silver ear- rings from Snow’s Jewelers and gift cards from Styles Boutique Miami and other stores.
“The prizes were so nice, much more than we expected,” Azcuy said.
She competed with daughters Bianca Diaz, 20, and Monica Diaz, 23, who were visiting for the holidays.
“It was just a really nice memory,” Azcuy said. “And a really nice way to break up the monotony of the pandemic.”