Combining Fun and Doing Good, Citywide Scavenger Hunt Aims to Connect Community with Nonprofits

Do you like word puzzles, brain teasers, scavenger hunts, the reality show “The Amazing Race” or are you just interested in helping out your community? Well The City GRACE may be the event for you to try this Saturday.

Participants of the urban adventure race will be led all over the city by clues that combine word puzzles, visual brain teasers, pop culture and city-specific trivia questions and more, according to the event’s co-founder Calvin Mingione.

“When they arrive to each destination, they will be asked to complete a task that benefits one of the featured nonprofit organizations or the community in general,” Mingione said.

Those tasks include donating food, shoes and reading materials as well as serving hot meals to homeless individuals.

The race should take about five hours to complete, though the duration varies by teams (comprising anywhere from two to five participants). Participants should expect to be on their feet for a substantial portion of the race, so comfortable attire is recommended, along with a bottle of water. A fully charged smartphone is also a must to access maps and Google to solve some of the clues.

Personal vehicles will not be allowed, though, so make sure to bring your buss pass or cash to access public transit, according to Mingione.

All participants will earn food and drink specials at a local eatery after the race, as well as a T-shirt. The winning team will also get additional swag and the chance to select a charity of their choice to which The City GRACE will make a donation in their name.

With a small portion of the funds going to the costs of the event, the remainder will go to various local nonprofits like AIDS Food Store, Beacon For Him Ministries, The Humble Project and Justin Rudd’s Community Action Team. Funds will also go to supplying organizations with items like toiletries for care packages, gloves and trash bags for clean-ups.

Mingione, who is also an urban planner, said the inspiration for this organization stemmed from a belief that a city thrives when there is more civic engagement and involvement with local nonprofits—and that doing good and having fun are not mutually exclusive.

“To us, The City GRACE was a ‘no-brainer’,” said Mingione. “It pairs adventure with activism and provides an ‘Amazing Race’ style scavenger hunt that not only keeps people engaged and entertained, it leaves participants feeling inspired by and proud of the work they’ve done.”

The organization, still in its infancy, officially launched in 2017 in Long Beach by Mingione and his twin brother Liam, with the inaugural event also taking place in the city. The pair, both locals, have championed multiple donation drives and promoted dozens of volunteer opportunities within the community. They plan to increase the frequency of events in the city and expand to other places like San Diego, Santa Ana, Los Angeles and Seattle.

Tickets are $44. For more information on the event click here. For more information on the organization click here.

The City GRACE scavenger hunt will begin at Livingston Park, East Livingston Drive and Park Avenue in Belmont Shore.

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Stephanie Rivera is the immigration and diversity reporter for the Long Beach Post. Growing up as one of six kids in the working-class immigrant suburb of South Gate, she was taught the importance of civic engagement and to show compassion for others. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015. An avid Harry Potter fan, Stephanie now lives in Bixby Knolls with her boyfriend and their bearded dragon, Austin.