Local youths celebrate Waldo

Summer scavenger hunt culminates with grand event

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  • More than 100 children attended the celebration of the Where's Waldo summer scavenger hunt at Sparta Books last week.

  • Evie Kemper wins a movie ticket.

  • Mayor Molly Ann Whilesmith draws the winning ticket with Sparta Books event manager Mindy Kemper.

  • Eve Wilkenson wins a Where's Waldo book and magnigying glass.

  • Jason Bischoff, Mairin Bryne and Meghan Murino enjoy balloons and popcorn.

By Rose Sgarlato

— It was a packed house at Sparta Books on July 30 for the grand celebration of the Where’s Waldo event.

Many children gathered to claim their prizes, eat some cake and enjoy the Waldo-themed festivities.

Sparta Mayor Molly Ann Whilesmith also joined in on the fun.

Where’s Waldo is a shop local campaign that Sparta Books has participated in for three consecutive years.

More than 100 children participated in this summer’s scavenger hunt to find the character in 25 local businesses, based on the book series “Where’s Waldo” by author Martin Handford, according to Sparta Books event manager Mindy Kemper.

“The goal is to get kids in local businesses," Kemper said. "It’s a national event that Sparta Books had to qualify to participate in. We had so much interest this year that businesses were calling us to be a part of it."

Whilesmith conducted a special prize drawing for all those who attended.

“We need to help our local businesses thrive,” Whilesmith said. “Every day of the year it’s important. A thriving downtown enhances property values.”

Due to the generous donations of local businesses, all attendees received a gift and went home happy campers.

Eight-year-old Jason Bischoff said that he felt lucky to win a coupon for pizza.

“I liked looking for the 20 Waldos and the cake,” said seven-year-old Mairin Byrne.

And there was a special grand prize won by seven-year-old Jonathan Bollard.

“I can’t believe I won, it’s so much fun. I can’t wait to find Waldo again next year,” Bollard said.

Sparta Books owner Donna Fell said she was very pleased with the turnout at the celebration and the overall participation.

“After three years it keeps on growing and getting more successful," she said. "Parents love it and kids love it.”

Sparta Books is located at 29 Theatre Center.

For more information on the store and its programs visit www.spartabooks.com.


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