By Lillian Bowe
Molly Glowacki and Wendy Turner read the clue.
“The neon sign of Portales.”
The reference escapes Glowacki, a Clovis resident, while Turner, a secretary at Eastern New Mexico University, tries to think of all the neon signs in Portales. It’s no easy task at high noon, with most neon signs off.
Then it hits them like an exclamation point — the exclamation point neon sign that hangs above Portales’ Signman Signs.
This was one of the 15 clues three teams had to figure out at the Best Ever Portales Scavenger Hunt on Saturday.
Kimberli Goliath, Christal Jacobson, Janice De Leon and Matti Bruce of the new group, One Community, helped design the event.
“We wanted to bring the community together,” Jacobson said, “and it is a good way to learn about Portales for the people who might live on the base.”
This was the group’s first event and participants called the event fun.
Each team started at Daylight Donuts with a sheet of 15 clues to the locations of “swag” — small, random objects they had to bring with them to the finish line at Roosevelt Brewing Company. Each team’s sheet had a different order, and a requirement to not skip items meant each team had its own route.
“We wanted to do places you would not normally go,” Goliath said.
Some of the places included the Portales Fire Department, McCarty’s Cafe, city hall, Portales Public Library and the old train station.
Each team also received a coupon for one hint should they get stuck on a clue, given by the organizers who monitored the event via text messaging — each team was required to additionally text a picture of group members at the “swag” points. The teams were given an hour to find the 15 swag items, with one of the three teams getting all 15.
Zach Turner, son to Wendy Turner, was on the victorious “orange” team, along with Michelle Rochester and her 2-year-old son, J.T.
“I did not want to go to the hunt today, but I had a lot of fun,” Turner said.
When the hunt ended at Roosevelt County Brewing Company, many of the participates were sweating and exhausted, but glad they joined the hunt.
Glowacki said she is a part of Big Brothers and Big Sisters program and she came to the hunt with her “little brother,” Eliott Reynolds of Portales.
“I had a such blast running around the town,” Glowacki said. “I learned a lot about Portales,” Glowacki said.
Goliath said she hopes that the group will be able to do more events such as Halloween in July.
“One Community in Portales is a 100 percent grassroots group of volunteers that has come together to host community events as a platform for people to meet each other,” Goliath said. “We are striving to bring together what we’ve been referring to as The Portales Trifecta (military, student, local).”