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Medallion hunt: Sisters find token to claim prize

Emily Holler, 11, and her sister, 7-year-old Kaylee, right, found the First National Bank Bemidji medallion during Friday's contest. By claiming the medallion, they won $250. Steve wagner | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI - Sisters Emily and Kaylee Holler had a sharp eye Friday, finding a hidden token to claim a $250 prize during the First National Bank Bemidji Downtown Dragon Boat Medallion Hunt.

Quite a few people zeroed in on the right location, but the successful scavengers looked a little closer than the competition.

Emily, 11, said her parents read the first clue in the paper, and she and sister Kaylee, 7, used additional clues online to find the medallion beneath a chair on "Paul's Ride," artwork depicting Paul Bunyan on a ferris wheel.

The artwork, on the corner of Second Street and Beltrami Avenue, received some long looks on Friday.

"We weren't going for the money," Emily said. "I just like to go on scavenger hunts."

Before arriving at work, the girls' father, Greg, went to the suspected location, where several people were milling around about 7 a.m.

Scavengers could be seen throughout downtown in hopes of claiming the prize offered up by First National Bank Bemidji and organized by the Pioneer as part of the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Then the girls' mom, Gini, called to see if the medallion had been claimed. It hadn't, so she took Emily and Kaylee downtown about 9:45 a.m.

About 15 minutes later, the girls found the medallion and claimed their prize.

It helped to know the Paul Bunyan figure on the ferris wheel, something the girls noticed a few months ago. Emily said she thought the medallion might be attached to one of the ferris wheel chairs with red tape.

To her delight, she found it beneath the lowest chair without the aid of tape.

"They're just so excited," Gini Holler said.

The girls have plenty of ideas for the money. They want to take the family out to eat, give some to the Beltrami Humane Society and a charity, and save some for a family vacation.

In particular, the second and third clues online proved helpful.

Here was the second clue:

"I don't live in a yellow submarine,

But with $250 on the line,

And fun by design,

The sound of music can be heard nearby"

That narrowed the search location along Second Street, where bright yellow submarine stands as part of the Sculpture Walk.

And the third clue proved to be a giveaway:

"If you haven't found me yet,

Best to quicken your stride,

To beat the other scavengers,

To Bemidji's icon on a ride."

Another medallion is hidden downtown today with another $250 prize offered up by First National Bank Bemidji on the line.

Steve Wagner

Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and He joined the Herald in April 2013, and previously worked as editor at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and in several roles -- including news director, investigative reporter and crime reporter - at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. His reporting experience includes coverage of Dru Sjodin's disappearance and the federal death penalty case for her murderer, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., along with several investigative projects. In his spare time, Wagner is an avid runner and occasionally writes about his experiences on his blog, Addicted to Running.

(701) 780-1104