Goodwill scavenger hunt held in honor of organizer’s mom

When Lisa Madison of Seymour decided she wanted to honor her mom, Marlene Matuszak, who died in 2014 after an organ transplant, she decided to combine two nonprofit organizations to make for a memorable day and a sizeable donation to a charity that means so much to her family.


Marlene Matuszak and her husband on their 50th anniversary.

The Restoring Hope Thrift Shop Scavenger Hunt took eight teams to eight Goodwill retail store and training centers throughout the Fox Valley and Green Bay in search of the goodies on their lists and with a few special tasks — to buy a specific item for a themed raffle basket and to pay it forward.scavenger hunt 4

“I wanted to go for something that was important and would benefit so many,” said Lisa, who thought of the idea after having a fun time while shopping with her husband at Goodwill.

She did it for Restoring Hope Transplant House, a nonprofit organization that serves transplant families throughout Wisconsin and is based in Middleton. It was a place of comfort for Lisa and her family.

“It is just amazing,” Lisa said. “I just love that place.”

For the scavenger hunt, Lisa’s team had T-shirts made in memory of her mom. Other teams had themed outfits.

Here’s how the hunt worked:

The teams met at a bar and grill in Seymour and were deployed from there.

Each team had an identical list but only could shop at the Goodwill they were assigned to. Teams had to take a picture of each item they found. They could earn bonus points for a color-of-the-week tag, for paying it forward to another customer and for taking a team photo at the Goodwill they were at — the more creative the better.

Lisa said team members at the stores really got into the spirit and joined in the fun, too. One Goodwill team leader called every team member over the intercom to the front of the store for the photo. Bonus points!

In addition to the scavenger list, each team had to contribute one item to a raffle basket. For example, one group was assigned to buying a pair of wine glasses for a wine-themed basket.

The team that returned with the most points won.

scavenger hunt 5“It went really well, and we’re planning on doing it every year,” Lisa said.

The fundraiser also featured food, 21 basket raffles — many donated by local businesses — and a 50/50 raffle. There also was a $10 entry fee.scavenger 6

In the end, the event raised $1,405 for Restoring Hope, so many people and businesses came together in honor of Marlene, and all of the teams are looking forward to do it again next year.

For Lisa, the best part was paying it forward. Her team did that by buying an office chair and a desk for a sweet couple shopping at Goodwill.

“Just his expression and her expression were worth it,” she said.

The importance of paying it forward is something Lisa, her family and her mom understand all too well and appreciate.

“To me, organ donors are the ultimate pay-it-fowarders.”

Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2015 helped improve the lives of more than 63,700 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 26 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as provides a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store. It offers eight Donation Express sites and 45 donation bins located throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from stores to fund a variety of innovative programs and services that serve north central Wisconsin communities.




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