Early morning search leads to medallion

<p>Hermiston residents Cameron and Katie Anderson, along with their children, Grant, Claire and Gregory, found the hidden medallion from the National Night Out Treasure Hunt.</p>

As dawn was breaking Friday morning in Hermiston, Cameron and Katie Anderson rousted their children from slumber. The early morning wake-up call proved fruitful, as the Andersons found the medallion hidden for the National Night Out Treasure Hunt.

The family, which includes Claire, 6; Grant, 8; and Gregory, 10, will host an ice cream social block party provided by the city of Hermiston, the East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald during National Night Out, which is Tuesday. The program promotes neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

The Andersons, who have participated in the treasure hunt for half a dozen years, also found the medallion in 2010.

“They are diehards. I love that they do it as a family, too,” said Erica Franz, Hermiston Police Department crime prevention officer and Neighborhood Watch coordinator.

Earlier this week, Franz hid the medallion in one of the bleacher sections at the baseball diamond at Armand Larive Middle School. The EO published daily clues to its whereabouts.

Early in the hunt, Katie and her children headed to the top of the Hermiston Butte.

“I really didn’t think it was there but I thought the kids would like the hike,” she said.

Ice cream, Katie said, definely serves as a motivator with the family.

“Grant was saying he would go but he was just in it for the ice cream,” she said about Friday’s early morning search.

Having already scoured the high school diamond, the Andersons discovered the field at Armand Larive on their way to a social gathering.

“After the party we went to the baseball field,” Cameron said. “We weren’t 100 percent sure it was there.”

They went home empty-handed as the light of day diminished.

Cameron had deduced the medallion was on the west side of town after using Google to decipher the second clue, which referred to a pair of Hermiston pioneers who were involved with early townsites. The third clue, the Andersons said, took them down Highland Avenue, which corresponds with the Umatilla County Fair route.

The couple had been up late Thursday packing for a weekend trip when Cameron discovered the fourth clue — which appeared in Friday’s print edition — was available in PDF version on the EO website. It confirmed they needed to go back to Armand.

“We were somewhat tempted to go at 1 a.m. but we decided to wait,” Cameron said with a laugh.

The Andersons are looking forward to the Tuesday night ice cream party. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Dusk Drive in the Overlook subdivision.

“A ladder truck from the fire department will transport some council members, the mayor and the ice cream itself, of course,” Franz said.

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Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539.

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