With Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy (left), the Goodacre family includes (front row, left to right) Morgan and Hunter, (middle row) Madison and Tyler, and (back row) Mark, Tiffany and Jake.
DE PERE, Wis. -- The Packers Draft Party Medallion remained hidden for nine days, but less than 12 hours before the 10th and final clue would have pointed the hundreds of seekers to its specific location, the Goodacre family found it.
Mark and Tiffany Goodacre, along with their three children and two nephews, had been driving north to Green Bay from Neenah every day for about a week. Having researched each daily clue on the internet and getting closer and closer to pinpointing the hiding spot, they finally uncovered the three-inch gold-colored medallion at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night underneath a pine tree in De Pere's Voyageur Park.
"It was neat and it was good we could get the whole family involved," Mark said. "The kids said they were on a treasure hunt."
The five youngsters involved in the hunt ranged in age from 3 to 12 years old and were on spring break last week when the search began. For their investigative abilities and admirable persistence, the Goodacres were rewarded with a prize package valued at $500, including Packers Draft Party tickets, a football autographed by Nick Collins, two tickets to a Packers home game this fall with pre-game sideline passes, a one-night hotel stay, plus some gift cards to Mills Fleet Farm.
"We learned a lot of history," Tiffany said, referring to the clues that made references to some of the area's historical markers and events.
They also spent a lot of time on the road, logging more than 800 miles in the family van with their daily trips back and forth. The medallion, produced by The Elite Group, was originally hidden on Monday, April 13, and after the first week's worth of clues, the Goodacres had narrowed down its location to Voyageur Park along the Fox River and Fox River Trail.
Then with Tuesday's ninth clue, a reference to a "woody perennial" whose "needles may fall" indicated it was hidden in an evergreen tree somewhere in the park. After spending much of Tuesday looking fruitlessly in and around all the evergreen trees, Tiffany had the idea after picking the kids up from school to come back with a rake to dig around at the base of the trees, where pine needles were heavily packed down from the weekend rain.
"We're going to go around to every tree, we said, and rake underneath until we find this thing," Mark said. "The first tree we came across was (the right) one. My nephew raked a couple times, I looked down, and there it was.
"That saved us a lot of work, (because) it was the first tree."
It also saved them from an excessive amount of competition. A lot of medallion seekers were already in Voyageur Park, and Wednesday morning's 10th and final clue would have given instructions to pace off a distance 75 yards east of the children's playground, which would have pointed everyone to the specific tree.
But the Goodacres found it just before sundown Tuesday evening, ending a search that included an estimated 1,000-plus people, combining those who were getting the daily clues via either e-mail alerts, the contest's web page at Packers.com, or an over-the-phone "clue line."
"This is the first time we've done this kind of event, and I think our fans enjoyed it," Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said as he presented the Goodacres with their prize package.
"It was definitely a team effort with my family and my nephews," Mark Goodacre said. "Lots of hard work and dedication, and we didn't give up."