Searching for buried treasure in the sand

Mike Riley, of Ortley Beach, searched for tokens in the sand that could be traded for prizes during the weekly treasure hunt on the Lavallette beachfront. [DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS]

LAVALLETTE — Children of all ages stopped by the President Avenue beach in Lavallette to search for “Enjoy Lavallette” tokens that could be swapped for treasure this week.
The weekly “Beach Treasure Hunt” hosted by the Lavallette Business Association is a free, recurring summer event that began in June and will run until Aug. 26, the Thursday before Labor Day.
“We have a bunch of these big buckets of discs and we go and hide them. When everyone gets here, right at six o’ clock, we say, ‘Go!’ and everyone runs out and finds discs, which they can bring back and exchange for a toy,” said Leana Litherland, an LBA intern.
She, along with another intern, Kelly Marmo, has been in charge of putting together the Monday evening free-for-all treasure hunt this summer.
“It’s a little bit chaotic, but lots of fun,” she said.

As the clock ticked closer to 6 p.m., children ran down the dune crossover with their parents in tow, head-ing straight for the area of beach marked by tiny American flags where Ms. Litherland was waiting. The flags marked the area where the tokens, which resemble large frisbees with the words “Enjoy Lavallette” printed on top, were scattered beneath the sand.
Ms. Litherland explained the children must at least bring back two tokens in order to be eligible to select a prize. Prizes include mini-sandcastle buckets, foam football rockets, plastic whistles in the shape of seashells and more.