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UW CSE Ph.D. alum Greg Barnes and friends win Canlis 60th anniversary scavenger hunt for charity

Greg Barnes and trophies

A team led by UW CSE Ph.D. alum Greg Barnes, and including UW CSE graduate program alums Elizabeth Walkup, Lauren Bricker, Franz Amador, Dorothy Neville, Erik Selberg, and Terry Farrah (as well as UW CSE course-taker (Eric Bone), has won the Canlis Restaurant “Light Up Seattle” scavenger hunt challenge – dinner for two, annually, for life, at Canlis, Seattle’s premier restaurant – plus a second dinner for two annually to be given away to someone who has helped the less fortunate.  Greg roamed Seattle with Eric and another friend, while wife Elizabeth and the rest of the team were camped around Lauren Bricker’s dining room table with 7 laptops deciphering clues.

KOMO News reports:

“As part of the Canlis restaurant’s 60th birthday celebration, [brothers Mark and Brian Canlis] created a mouthwatering contest for Seattle trivia and history buffs that would culminate in a grand prize that had to be given away.  The prize:  Dinner for two at Canlis, once a year, for the life of the winner.

“But because the Canlis brothers want to encourage philanthropy, the winner had to give away the dinner-for-life to someone who has helped the less fortunate.  Each year the winner would decide who would be the recipient of that dinner …

“Flash back to October:  The Canlis Brothers start a contest.  Every day, for 50 straight days, the brothers send out a clue via Facebook and Twitter, to the location of a Canlis menu from 1950.  The menu is hidden somewhere in Seattle … All the clues were witty and related to Seattle’s history.

“Find the menu, and you got dinner for two at Canlis at 1950’s prices …

The brain trust

“All 50 menus were found, but then came part two …

“On New Year’s Eve, the 50 menu winners … gathered at the restaurant on the eastern edge of Queen Anne Hill in a race for the grand prize.

“Everyone knew the rules.  If they found the grand prize they had to give it away, but that didn’t stop the enthusiasm.  Each winner was allow two others on the ground to solve the clues.  And they were allowed to have as much support as possible via cell phone and internet …

“Greg Barnes and his team ‘Teriyaki Donut’ figured it out …

“Barnes and his team found a small ‘X’ in the grass at the correct GPS coordinate and started digging with their hands.  Barnes found a muddy envelope.  Inside, a Canlis platinum card with the words ‘Dinner for Life.’  Barnes knew he had to give away [the card] but to his surprise, there was not one but two cards in the envelope.  He was allowed to keep the other for himself.”

Read the KOMO News article here.  Watch a KOMO News video here.

January 1, 2011