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Determination pays off for medallion hunters

Every year, Marty Ellsworth has looked for the Edina Realty Rivertown Days medallion. He was close to finding it several years.

This year, he was determined to find the medallion. This was going to be his year.

And it was.

On the third day (Wednesday, July 14) Ellsworth and his brother Mitch, their children and a cousin found the medallion by the Adopt-A-Park sign in Crestview Park, off West Fourth Street. They had been looking for two days and had been in the park about 20 minutes.

The first clue is usually not too specific, relating that the medallion is on public property somewhere within the city limits. Still, the brothers went out and looked through several of the city's park.

The second clue was a little more helpful - "Go West," and the family went to several parks on the west side of the city, including Pleasant Drive and Westview Drive and 25th Street. Still nothing.

On Wednesday, Marty called his brother again, this time getting one of the kids on the phone. "Get your dad up," he told him.

The third clue talked about "big box" stores. Initially, Mitch believe that just maybe the medallion had been hidden near the Edina Realty office, maybe in one of the large flower pots. It was not there.

The family got back into Marty's truck, drove the short distance to the Pleasant Hill Library, and looked around there. Their luck had not improved, but they were not going to give up. "We went back to General Sieben Drive and then over by the high school," said Marty. "Part of the clue by being quiet could have been connected to the school."

Looking around the high school fields and lots did not yield the medallion. Again, it was back into the truck.

Mitch was convinced - "I don't know why," he said - the medallion was hidden in one of the parks. As they drove down west Fourth Street, they neared the small Crestview Park. It was very quiet in the park except for the sound of a city employee mowing the grass.

"I began picking apart the clues (Keep in mind only three had been released) again," said Marty. "It very well could be at this park."

As the six family members looked, Marty became more convinced this was the park. The kids looked in the flower bed near the sign, but did not see anything. Mitch looked along the fence line, and Marty looked around the evergreens and ball field. But he was not going to be deterred, he said.

"I turned around and started to go back to the truck," he said. "But I was so sure it was there, and the clues made it clear. I looked around the sign again and there was this cardboard box below it. I opened it and there it was."

As Marty started to scream, Mitch urged him to quiet down and get them out of the park before they were noticed.

They got back into the truck and took the medallion to show their parents before heading back to the Edina Realty office.

"This is so cool to look for," said Mitch.

"It's not so much that we found it, but it is such fund for us; we all go out," said Marty.

The two brothers will split the $500 prize.

And next year?

As Marty and Mitch claimed their check Tuesday, Marty gave the medallion one last hit and said, "See you next year."