Joining in the craze sweeping the nation, the Escalon Lions Club is hosting a ‘great golden rock hunt’ around the community.
Board member Tom Machado said the Lions Club board approved the project at its August board meeting and hid the special rocks around the community this past weekend.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big,” Machado admitted on Tuesday, with many of the special rocks already found and turned in.
Escalon residents, it turns out, are good rock hunters.
The goal behind the rocks campaign nationwide, Machado said, is to hide rocks with uplifting messages as a way to spread messages of joy, love and hope, providing a positive experience.
The local Lions Club also made the deal a little sweeter.
“We approved money to paint and hide 20 rocks around the community, plus attached to each one is a $10 gift certificate to The Big Dipper,” Machado said of partnering with the local ice cream parlor.
The Lions Club made a $200 donation to the creamery, which then provided the certificates. Hunters, when they find the rocks, take them to The Big Dipper and redeem the certificate for an ice cream treat.
“It’s kind of like Rocks for Peace,” Machado said, with hunters also able to satisfy their sweet tooth at the end of the hunt. “It’s a huge, national thing, all about spreading love and fun.”
Lions Club members painted rocks to hide, one side is golden and the other side is painted as well but also includes either a paw print or the Lions Club logo, something to make it stand out a little more.
“I hid some in places I didn’t think they would be easy to find,” Machado explained, noting that the number of rocks already turned in during the first few days of the hunt proved him wrong.
“We scheduled it to run through the middle of October,” he added. “We went out hiding them in the wee hours of Sept. 16 and people have been out finding them ever since.”
Once this initial hunt period is over, the Lions Club also plans to make a donation to Escalon schools as part of the ‘rocks’ program. The success of the hunt might also mean another round later on. Once all 20 rocks have been found and turned in, the hunt will be declared over. The rocks will be returned to those that found them to keep as a memento, said Machado.
Some of those turning the rocks in at The Big Dipper have been posting on the Lions Club Facebook page, thanking the Club for the hunt and the treat. All ages are involved, said Machado, making it an event the entire community can enjoy.