For Tony Hawk fan Laurel Schooler, Sunday April 7th’s ‘Hawk Hunt’ is an annual event she’s been looking forward to since high school. Well, maybe not quite so long, but she has been a Hawk fan since her days of hanging out outside Thalia Mara with skater dudes in the 90’s. The self-described one time “Betty” who had a subscription to Thrasher Magazine, Schooler is Hawk’s local connection to a contest he’s held for four years.
Hawk Hunt has been shipping out 100 packages worldwide each year containing sponsor swag like socks, skate helmets and even food items. Local volunteers like high school English teacher Schooler hide them, then compose a clue for Hawk’s team to send out via Twitter. This year’s sample clue sent to perspective volunteers was Schooler’s clue from last year. It read “It’s a lovely day to play in the garden. If you’re lucky, Curious George will point you to the treasure. #HAWKHUNT.” From this clue, you realize last year’s box was hidden at the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
This is the third year Schooler has participated. She likes to wait around to see who shows up. “I take a picture and post it with a tweet to let Tony’s office know the box was found,” she says. Whoever gets there first gets the loot. Schooler says it’s common, though, for more than one person to arrive at the same time.“It’s in the rules. Tony says be nice and share.” That’s what happened last year, and, the first year, when hunters found a box at Sal & Mookie’s.
To think, Schooler would never have known about this had she not relented and joined Twitter. As a reluctant user of social media, Schooler latched on to Twitter at her digital media guru husband Josh’s insistence in 2011. “He had tried to convince me to get on there,” she explains. “One night, he said “Look, it’ll just be fun,” so I joined as @sugarbritchesms.” (The handle is a nod to Schooler’s cupcake making hobby.) “Tony Hawk was one of the first people I followed, just because I’ve been a fan since I was a teen.” This just happened to be the week he put out tweet about volunteers interested in hiding packages for his scavenger hunt. “I was like “Sure, why not.”
Many packages go overseas, so, for Jackson, Mississippi to get one, Schooler says, we’re fortunate. And, it’s cool. “It’s just fun and I think (Tony) enjoys it,” she believes. Hawk and his team sit in their office and watch as it unfolds. “It’s an all day event.” Schooler has read articles that say Hawk does it to connect with and do something fun for his fans. Like her. “Here’s this guy I’ve been a fan of for years, so it’s nice to do something to help him out.”
This year’s hunt takes place on Sunday, April 7. Follow @TonyHawk on Twitter to find clues to the box. Learn more at tonyhawk.com/hawkhunt/
Update: Jude Williams found the #HawkHunt box with this clue: “JACKSON, MS: Holy guacamole, Jacksonians! What’s under that tree?