Treasure hunt highlights Viera girl’s birthday party


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Abigail Watson, an eighth grader at West Shore Junior/Senior High School, holds a copy of the Viera Voice that contains a clue during her birthday treasure hunt on April 19 at The Avenue Viera.

Ernie Arico

A 14-year-old Viera girl and her friends earned the chance to do a unique birthday treasure hunt at The Avenue Viera on April 19.

Abigail Watson, an eighth grader at West Shore Junior/Senior High School and a big fan of “The Amazing Race,” an American TV reality show, was joined by 13 girls and two boys to search for clues to solve the puzzle and win prizes.

The idea for the treasure hunt was the brainstorm of Abigail’s mother, Karin Watson, and her grandmother, Diane Tinucci.

“Because they are pre-teen kids you have to come up with something that they will enjoy and also challenge them,” said Tinucci, a retired teacher and Rockledge resident. “We picked The Avenue Viera because many of the kids enjoy shopping there.”

The children were given nine clues — one of them was a dummy story inside the Viera Voice — and placed at various locations throughout The Avenue. Twenty copies of the Viera Voice were donated for the treasure hunt.

One of the clues took the participants to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza near the AMC Theatre water fountain. The kids had to place American flags and search for another clue.

The three-hour treasure hunt began and ended at The Avenue’s center courtyard near Panera Bread.

Karin Watson, a physical therapist for Brevard Public Schools and a Viera resident since 2001, said many of The Avenue shop owners were willing participants in the treasure hunt.

“Abigail was beyond excited,” she said. “The hardest part was keeping her from finding out where all the clues were.”

Tinucci said the children were divided into three teams of four or five children and received maps of The Avenue. At the end of the treasure hunt, the children were awarded “medals” (gift cards) from Amazon, Starbucks and Dunkin’.

“The kids had a great time,” Watson said.

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