Keene family wins $1K from Recycled Percussion treasure hunt

Olivia Belanger, The Keene Sentinel, N.H.
·4 min read

Mar. 13—Deanna Tyler was just looking forward to a day out, according to her sister, Alissa Tyler.

Having recently battled breast cancer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Deanna, 37, hasn't had many opportunities to spend time with her family in public.

But on Saturday morning, just a month after finding out she's in remission, the Keene residents' day took an exciting turn: They won $1,000.

"It was not about the money," Alissa, 40, said in a text. "It was all about having fun with the kids."

Their winnings were part of a treasure hunt put on by Recycled Percussion, a New Hampshire-based band that performs using buckets and other household items and appeared on season four of the television show America's Got Talent.

The band — which announced recently it will open a store under its Chaos & Kindness brand in Keene this spring — posted on its Facebook page Thursday afternoon that a prize worth $1,000 had been hidden somewhere in the city. While actual cash wasn't tucked away, an item that could be traded in for a grand had been, the post explained.

Starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, clues to the prize's whereabouts were posted to the band's Facebook page.

"This is just the beginning of what we hope to be doing in Keene," Justin Spencer, the band member who founded Recycled Percussion, said in a statement Saturday morning. "Bringing people, families and community together to have some Chaos & Kindness in their lives."

Deanna — along with her children, twins Arabella and Asher, 10; and Kinsley; 6, as well as her sister — found the prize in just over an hour.

The orange Recycled Percussion drumstick was tucked under a stack of mattresses on Adams Street behind Penuche's Ale House.

Right after finding it, the family drove up to the band's original Chaos & Kindness store in Laconia to collect their winnings.

"It's totally our thing," Alissa said of solving clues. "It's funny because we are a super close family, so for different holidays and stuff I usually hide the things for scavenger hunts and stuff, so the kids were all excited for this."

The clues the band released Saturday started fairly vague, telling followers the prize was hidden within two miles of The Colonial Theatre.

Next was a close-up photo of the drumstick beneath the mattress, next to some broken glass.

The third clue said it was within a triangle of Route 12 and of two streets listed as "Mar — - — - — and Ba — - _."

A fourth clue showed part of the wall of Wheelock Elementary, across the street from where the drumstick was hidden.

"We actually drove by the school a few times ... and we were looping back and as I drove past Penuche's, I spotted a piece of glass behind the mattress, so I said, 'Just stop, and I'll look,' " Alissa said.

Meanwhile, sisters Lori Santorio and Kelly Frye, both of Keene, were also on the hunt.

Self-proclaimed Recycled Percussion super fans, Santorio said she and her sister figured out the third clue was referring to Marlboro and Baker streets almost immediately.

"We came so close," Santorio, 59, said of finding the prize. But "it was such an amazing experience. It really was. People were having so much fun."

Brian Dixon of Brattleboro set out on the search with his nieces, Ella Baldacchino and Larkyn Anderson, his nephew Quenton Bedward, and his friend Lori Hoover.

"I don't even know where they ended up finding it," said Dixon, 40. "The whole 'winning the money' thing would be fun, but it was just so fun to be out there and see all the people out smiling and getting fresh air."

Heather Morse, 23, of Springfield, Vt., also said she enjoyed getting outside with her sister and their two one-year-old children. And with an infant, she added that the $1,000 "would've been nice."

"But it was fun," she said.

Morse added that searching for the prize was also a bit stressful.

It "gave me a lot of anxiety at times," she said with a laugh, "because I was driving, getting out and walking, and then back in the car, and then driving again. People were driving like maniacs, and people walking everywhere ... so just very hectic."

Now that the chaos is over, Alissa said the family is still deciding what to use the winnings for.

"We let the kids each buy something at the [Chaos & Kindness] store, knowing it would come out of that money, and what we'll do with the rest I don't know," she said. "Probably something with the kids."

This article has been updated with additional information.

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or obelanger@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.