Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism Announced

February 15, 2012

Traverse Traveler to Host Scavenger Hunt to Benefit TCAPS Students with Autism

Scavenger Hunt for Autism Logo

The first annual Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism will take place in Traverse City, Michigan on Saturday, April 14, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. In this one-day event participants will use the Traverse Traveler smartphone app to conduct a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Traverse City. Utilizing an innovative approach to fundraising, the event will raise money to purchase iPads for Traverse City Area Public Schools students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Traverse Traveler appHere’s How The Scavenger Hunt Works:


  • Participants register as teams for one of two event tracks: the Family Track featuring kid-friendly activities and less walking, and the Challenge Track geared toward adults and teens. All courses are family-friendly, walkable and fun.
  • Teams of up to 5 people will navigate from business to business, use the Traverse Traveler smartphone app (available for FREE in the iPhone App Store) to ‘check in’ at each location, complete tasks and collect prize tickets along the way.
  • Instructions for each activity and clues to the next location are supplied by the app.
  • At the end of the scavenger hunt, all teams will cross the finish line at the City Opera House to celebrate their accomplishments, enjoy refreshments and win prizes.
  • Corporate and individual donors commit to ‘Pledge Per Check-in,’ whereby increasing the fundraising efforts with every person, and every stop.


Brandy Wheeler, creator of the Traverse Traveler app, a handy mobile guide to the Traverse City region, designed this unique event to increase community awareness about Autism, a disorder that affects 1 in 110 children — including her 9-year-old son.

There are approximately 120 students in TCAPS with Autism. It’s a neurological disorder that can impair an individual’s ability to communicate and develop social skills. The severity of the disorder and the symptoms vary dramatically. Some children are unable to develop speech, some experience sensory issues, and others, diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, are highly intelligent but lack basic social skills most people take for granted.
In early 2011 Wheeler discovered a pilot program launched by TCAPS to place iPads with 9 students within the district who receive special education services for autism. Each device was loaded with a set of apps chosen to meet the specific needs of that child. Autism apps range from touch-screen visual schedules, to social skills practice, to full-scale communication aids.
iPads for Autism - Digi-MotoJame McCall, Executive Director of Special Education & Early Childhood Programs for TCAPS explains, "Our goal with using the iPads— or any other assistive technology— is to remove the barriers to education. To be able to put a device in the hands of a child that’s socially acceptable, and is something they are able to use and maneuver easily, that aids in communication, will help them in their learning."
Traverse Traveler approached TCAPS last fall about designing a fundraiser to help grow the iPads for Autism program at TCAPS. "I was thrilled that Brandy contacted me and told me about her plans to do a scavenger hunt and her thoughts about raising money for TCAPS students to put more iPads in the hands of our children that needed them. TCAPS is proud to be a partner with the Traverse Traveler."
iPads for Autism Digi-MotoBrandy Wheeler reached out to business owners, community members, educators and parents to bring this event to life. "Children with autism are magnetically drawn to technology," she said, " With this event we can combine the power of mobile and social media to create positive social change. It’s technology for technology."
All proceeds from the event will be donated to purchase iPads and apps for TCAPS students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Aspergers Syndrome. In addition to monies raised by the event, Traverse Traveler will donate $10 for every new business listing on the app between now and April 30, 2012.

Here’s how you can help!

The Traverse Traveler Scavenger Hunt for Autism is currently seeking event sponsors and Downtown Traverse City businesses who would like to participate in this event. For more information and to register a team, visit the Traverse Traveler website at: TCAPS is also accepting tax-deductible cash donations for the iPads for Autism program at


Become a fan of the event on Facebook, and follow @TraverseTravelr on Twitter to keep up with event news as it happens.

Traverse City Restaurant Week 2/26 – 3/3

February 3, 2012

Second Annual Restaurant Week Highlights Traverse City Dining
The Downtown Traverse City Association will host the second Traverse City Restaurant Week in response to the many accolades regarding great restaurants and food offerings in the Grand Traverse Region. TCRW promises to be the most delicious week of the winter where patrons may perfect the art of wining and dining by discovering the talents of local chefs, with many offerings focused on the farm to table movement and local agriculture.
Restaurant Weeks are quickly popping up in communities all over the country and have proved to be a success. The Traverse City region is a natural fit for our finest restaurants to offer multi-course meals that have been especially prepared for this gourmet event. Traverse City’s finest restaurants will offer multi-course meals that have been especially prepared for this gourmet event with three courses for $25 per person.

“Traverse City Restaurant Week offers seven days of dining in one of Michigan’s great food regions. Exploring news eateries and dining at your favorite are truly the highlights of this culinary event,” says Colleen Paveglio, DDA/DTCA Marketing Director.


Enter to Win!

During Traverse City Restaurant Week, diners may enter to win a prize package that includes $50 gift cards to each participating restaurant.
Visit the website for further information on participating restaurants and menus.  

Reservations are recommended as this event proved quite popular last year. Check out the Events category on our smartphone app, Traverse Traveler,  where we’ve listed each restaurant along with a phone number for one-touch dialing. Following is a peek at who will be participating:

Traverse Traveler app events7 Monks Taproom


Apache Trout Grill

The Bay Leaf

Blue Tractor Cook Shop

The Boathouse

Chez Peres/Patisserie Amie

CW’s Blue Water Bistro: Holiday Inn West Bay

Firefly Café & Lounge

Hanna Bistro

Harrington’s By the Bay

Mackinaw Brewing Co.

Minervas: Park Place Hotel

Modes Bum Steer

North Peak Brewing Co.

Phil’s on Front


Red Ginger

Relfect: Cambria Suites

The Soul Hole

Trattoria Stella

Travino, Traverse Wine & Grille

Union Cantina


Traverse City Restaurant Week is hosted by the over 200 merchants, restaurants and businesses who are members of the Downtown Traverse City Association.  For more information or to volunteer, call the DTCA office at (231) 922-2050 or email