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Minneapolis resident Steven Sanftner, pictured here with Debbie Harren of Edina Realty, found this year’s Woodbury Days Medallion in Victoria Park. He received a $500 cash prize from Edina Reality. (Staff photo by Mike Longaecker)

Medallion hunt winner piles up the loot

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Medallion hunt winner piles up the loot
Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

On Friday, Aug. 15, Minneapolis resident Steven Sanftner uncovered this year’s Woodbury Days Medallion at Victoria Park, which marked the sixth this summer for the avid hunter.


“I enjoy the outdoors and it’s fun to put together the puzzle,” he said.

The 2014 Woodbury Days Medallion Hunt is sponsored by the Woodbury Bulletin and Edina Reality.

Sanftner had purchased a Woodbury Days Button so he received the full $500 cash prize.

The hunt is on

Sanftner has been an avid medallion hunter since 2007 when he participated in his first St. Paul Winter Carnival medallion hunt. Then, last summer he learned that there are upward of 20 medallion hunts throughout the Twin Cities during the summer.

“Kind of got engulfed with that,” he said. “I was kind of like a kid in the candy store and it became one of my main hobbies I like to do.”

Sanftner eventually teamed up with another hunt enthusiast – Matt Koskie – who found the Woodbury Days Medallion in 2012.

In his first year hunting during the summer, Sanftner found two medallions.

The Woodbury medallion

Sanftner really kicked off this year’s hunt in Woodbury after the second clue, which came out on Aug. 14, that pointed him to one of Woodbury’s parks on the western side.

“I just started looking at Google maps,” he said.

After the second clue pointed to a park with water, Sanftner began whittling down his list.

“Then, I just went out on a whim and started searching the parks,” he said.

As he went through the clues more and more, Sanftner started to lock onto a few key phrases – “night” and “success.”

In terms of “night,” Santfitner started thinking about why the medallion would have to be hid at night and why that would be included as a clue.

Eventually Sanftner started thinking about the many sidewalks that run in front of people’s houses and the parks that they lead to.

In regards to the word “success” Sanftner said he kept coming back to the word “victory,” which eventually led him to Victoria Park – one of the parks on his list.

“I started looking for places that would be good for hiding,” he said. “I wanted to search the obvious spots.”

Sanftner’s eyes eventually fell onto a retaining wall made up of boulders.

“I started going along the rocks and pulling things out,” he said. “I was actually pulling out a bunch of trash so I started getting a little discouraged.

“But, I’m such a thorough hunter that I couldn’t just stop.”

Then, Sanftner came to one of the last rocks.

“Right beneath the leaves I saw the black of the medallion,” he said. “I was actually kind of surprised because I didn’t expect to find it there – I didn’t feel like I was hot on its trail or anything.”

As most anyone would, Sanftner said he started yelling and jumping around.

He said the prize money couldn’t have come at a more perfect time since he can take his family and friends to the Minnesota State Fair and the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.

Now that Sanftner has found a total of nine medallions, many of which he was able to keep, he is in the process of finding a glass case to house his hidden treasures.

“It’s so much fun to get out and see more of the Twin Cities parks,” he said.

Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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