Hidden Treasure? High-prized pursuit parlayed for pets

Mark Mourang shows off the treasure chest of prizes that await participants the 'Pet Pirate Booty Treasure Hunt

The priorities may change as the years move along.

But at the moment, 17-year-old Mark Morang has two. Animals and geocaching (okay, three if you count the cell-phone).

So, when the time came to dream up a community service project, a requirement for all juniors at Friday Harbor High School, Mark quite naturally thought: “Why not combine the two?”

And, that’s what he did. And, that’s why on Saturday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you’ll have a feel-good reason to fan out across the island in search of clues and prizes as part of Morang’s “Pet Pirate Booty Treasure Hunt,” a benefit for the Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society and fundraiser for the purchase of a computer-equipped kiosk for the shelter’s new home.

Here’s how it works.

Ten treasure boxes will be hidden around the island and for $25 you can purchase a list of clues that lead to each. Each box contains three prize tickets and specially markedMorang/Ramona coins. You can redeem up to three tickets for prizes and something special awaits the first 10 contestants who collect a ticket from all 10 boxes; coins are exchanged for other prizes, like a latte.

The instructions are simple enough, but getting all the pieces in place, like donations from 25 local businesses, proved challenging, and worthwhile. Of course, that’s part of what the community service projects are all about.

“It took a lot of time to stay organized and get everything together,” Mark said. “I’m not really organized. I’m trying to get better at that.”

Lesson leaned. On with the hunt.