BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Thousands of people are taking part in a “pay it forward” effort going on in the Valley.
WKBN has been following the Ohio Hidden Cash adventure and on Friday, two clues made their way to our station. The parking lot looked more like a parade lineup as dozens of cars, some with every seat full, patiently waited for a piece of paper that contained a clue for a hidden key.
All they had to do was make a book donation to Akron Children’s Hospital. The mystery donor behind Ohio Hidden Cash wanted to hold a book drive for the hospital. Five hundred books were collected.
Tracy Fitzgerald had no luck with the clue at noon. She said sometimes she is completely thrown off.
“I have been following it since it started. I have been going everywhere,” Fitzgerald said. “We just did one yesterday in Liberty and we was right there in the rain and all. You should have seen how many kids, how many parents was out there.
She came back for the 3 p.m. clue on Friday, hoping to have better luck.
So did Dawn Broll of Boardman. The noon clue was a challenge.
“Basically we went to one of the pet shops in Boardman. We thought the Slam Louder, jelly fish and barracuda fish,” Broll said.
Debbie DiBacco has been a part of Ohio Hidden Cash since day one and finally found a key two nights ago.
“In Springfield in the parking lot where the Dollar General is. It was hidden in a fake rock next to a lamp post,” DiBacco said.
Ohio Hidden Cash is listed as a social experiment on Facebook. No one knows who is behind it, not even DiBacco.
“One thing that Captain Jack, who is narrating this whole event, has told everyone is that he wants to just spread love in our community and kindness,” she said.
Search participants said they’re happy to see something like this going on in Youngstown, bringing the community and families together.
“It is showing the kids to give back and don’t be selfish. And adults too,” Fitzgerald said.
Mary Varjaski of Youngstown agreed.
“Even if you don’t find something, you spend quality time with your children,” she said.
On Friday, each car dropped off books for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley to get a clue. One car donated an entire box of books. Those books will go to patients at the hospital.
“It also serves as a distraction and it’s a way for them to pass the time while they are in the hospital or receiving treatment,” said Candace Madden of Akron Children’s Hospital.
As for Broll, she found one of the keys in Salem and posted the picture on the Ohio Hidden Cash Facebook page.
Additional clues for the second key have now been posted.