Two STMA High School students, freshman Haley Peterson and senior Courtney Jenniges, thought they had hit the jackpot last month when they found a Harvest Hunt Medallion, which carries a $1,000 prize, at the St. Michael Recreation Center. The pair said they had hunted for the medallion with their families basically their whole lives, and they were screaming with excitement when they found it wedged between a batting cage fence and a wooden sign. The medallion they found had been 3D printed with the Harvest logo. Onlookers congratulated them and the girls reported losing their voices in the excitement of the big find.
Their excitement didn’t last.
Jenniges and Peterson took the medallion to First American Bank, who has put on the local medallion hunt every year since 2005, but found the bank had already closed for the evening. However, their excited families posted the news on social media along with photos of the medallion, and the photos made their way to medallion hunt organizers, who could see it was a fake. They got in touch with the girls’ families, broke the bad news, and asked them to cometo the bank the next day.
First American Bank employee, Nick Shultz, said this was one of two fake medallions found during this year’s hunt. He said the real medallion was found by Mark Kowalke on the ruins of the Eagle Brewery, which is on the wooded hillside of the St. Michael Rec Center.
One of the fake medallions
“It was a little crazy this year with someone using the artwork we had posted online to make multiple fake medallions,” Shultz said. “Despite all that, the hunt did what we intend it to do every year, which is get families and friends out looking and learning about their town.”
Jenniges and Peterson said First American Bank was very kind to them about the fake medallion. They gave each of the girls a $25 gift card to Dunn Bros and apologized, though the girls said the bank could have never prevented this from happening.
“We were so disappointed,” Jenniges said. “I would never think anyone in St. Michael would do that.”