Fredericksburg Families

Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Downtown scavenger hunt will help families caring for children with cancer

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Fairy Godmother Project co-founders Stephanie Johnson and Andie McConnell

Spend two hours exploring parts of downtown Fredericksburg you may have never known were there, then get a chance to win prizes from downtown businesses, all in the name of supporting families caring for children with pediatric cancer.

That’s the idea behind the scavenger hunt fundraiser that the Stafford-based Fairy Godmother Project will put on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The event is based at J. Brian’s Tap Room on Hanover Street.

Andie McConnell, co-founder of the Fairy Godmother Project, said she loves putting on scavenger hunts for her three children, and she loves supporting local small businesses, so a downtown scavenger hunt seemed like the perfect idea for a fundraiser that would offer families and groups of friends something new.

“It’s my hope is that it raises money for our cause, but also raises awareness of all the small businesses downtown,” McConnell said.

Here’s how it works: Teams of up to four people each can sign up now through Saturday. A team “participant” is anyone 12 and up. Children under 12 can participate for free.

Team registration is available online here, or in person at J. Brian’s the day of the event. Cost per team is $80 now through Friday, $90 on Saturday.

Teams will have two hours to find answers to clues involving shops and restaurants around downtown Fredericksburg without using smartphones to help them. Additional “extra credit” questions about downtown history and other fun facts will help teams earn additional points. In the end, the team with the most points–not necessarily the fastest finisher–will win.

The grand prize is $100, plus additional tickets in a raffle for various downtown prizes.

Every registered team member will receive an event T-shirt, 20 raffle tickets per team, post-event food from J. Brian’s and a sponsor bag filled with coupons and promotional items from participating downtown businesses.

McConnell said the event is drawing teams of all ages, from parents pushing strollers, to high school and college kids, to adult groups of friends. Some special prizes will also be given–including one for the team with the best uniforms, or costumes, which McConnell said there should be stiff competition for.

All of the proceeds will go toward the Fairy Godmother Project, a group that McConnell and her friend, Stephanie Johnson, founded to help support families dealing with pediatric cancer. The group does everything from household chores that these families often can’t get to, to professional photography to provide lasting memories of little ones whose time may be limited.

McConnell said she hopes the event will boost exposure for the downtown businesses that are helping to sponsor it. One of those businesses–Caroline Street restaurant Foode–already helps the Fairy Godmother Project by providing one “date night” dinner a month to a family the group is supporting.

In addition to J. Brian’s, other participating businesses include Foode, Party Elegance, The Richard Johnston Inn, Monkee’s, the Cobblestone Square apartments, Castiglia’s, Bangz salon, Sweet Caroline’s, Corky’s, Olde Towne Butcher, 25 30 Espresso, MacDoc Realty, Lydia’s and Hair Studio of Olde Towne.

Read a Free Lance-Star story about the Fairy Godmother Project here. Find the group on Facebook here.


  • Craig McKeachie

    Sounds like a fun event for a great cause.  Please let me know if I can help next year by contributing some scavenger hunts for the younger kids.