Military Family Scholarships
Treasure hunts are all the rage, from Disney's hit film, "National Treasure," to NBC's new show, "Treasure Hunters." This summer, everyone can participate in a treasure hunt and earn a chance to win prizes while donating to a cause: academic scholarships for the children and spouses of U. soldiers. A desire to thank the troops motivated Rachel and Kelsi Okun, sisters from McLean, Va., to create ThanksUSA, a nationwide treasure hunt to benefit military families.
Among the prizes are a Harley-Davidson motorcycle; a big-screen home theater system; and trips to the 2007 Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, London and Cairo, Egypt. All prizes were donated by sponsors. The Okuns' virtual treasure hunt contains 12 "chapters," which are posted online in a clue book. Each chapter tests participants' knowledge of American history, popular culture, geography and trivia pertaining to a certain state. Those who correctly answer the questions in each chapter are eligible to win a prize.
Players who successfully answer all 12 stages are eligible to win the $100,000 grand prize package including a Washington, D., adventure to search for a treasure chest filled with jewelry, rare gems and centuries-old coins. ThanksUSA is short for "Treasure Hunt Aiding Needs of Kids (and spouses) of those Serving the United States of America." The hunt is open to any U. citizen and lasts through Sept. Participation is free, but donations toward the scholarships are strongly encouraged. "The least we could do for those heroes of America is to help their children and spouses have a brighter future as they are helping all of the U.
's spouses and children have better futures, too," writes Rachel, 10, in an essay describing how the idea came to fruition. Rachel and Kelsi came up with the concept after reading Michael Stadther's book, "A Treasure's Trove." The sisters designed ThanksUSA's logo and helped with research for the questions. The clues were a collaborative effort among the girls, their parents, a teacher and other volunteers. "We wanted to say thank you to our troops and wanted to show that we care about them," says 8-year-old Kelsi.
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