What's a Gumshoe?
In the late 1800’s, when shoes with gum rubber soles were invented, bad guys quickly adopted this new stealth technology to skulk about and, as a consequence, came to be known as "gumshoes." By 1908, however, the term had morphed into the name for the good guys in the silent footwear who chased the bad guys.
Now Gumshoe refers to the FUNdraising detective walk held every summer in Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods—Pokemon Go without an app (click here for a comparison)!
Since the event began in 2006, it has raised over $43,000 for local non-profits. This year, all Gumshoe proceeds will be shared by the Greenwood Senior Center, Greenwood Elementary School PTA and Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church Food Bank.
To get a flavor for the Gumshoe, click here to see last year's clues and answers. Then lace up your sneakers, don your deerstalker, head to Ken's, the Phinney Center or Couth Buzzard Books, buy an entry form and and do this year's Gumshoe!
How to Gumshoe
Step 1: Get Gumshoe entry forms at one of these locations. They go on sale Friday, August 5.
- Ken's Market
- 7231 Greenwood Ave N
Debit or credit card, cash or check payable to "PNA"
- Phinney Center
- 6532 Phinney Ave N
Credit card, cash or check
- Couth Buzzard Books
- 8310 Greenwood Ave N
Cash or check only
A single entry form is $20, but if you cajole kids, friends, neighbors and innocent bystanders into joining you and buy two or more at the same time, forms are just $15 each.
Step 2: Once you and your accomplices have your entry forms, solve the 30 clues that lead you through the 5 kilometer walk. That’s roughly 3.1 miles of neural exercise, bipedal locomotion and discovering fun and interesting things along the way.
Do the Gumshoe in one day or over several—you’ve got 10 days, including two week-ends,to complete the walk. Experienced Gumshoes report that it takes two to three hours.
And should you buy an entry form and find you haven't done the Gumshoe for whatever reason—you got sick, your in-laws came to visit, you got caught up in binge watching Judge Judy—you can salvage your investment by doing the Procrastishoe! Join other last-minute Gumshoes at Ken’s at 3 pm Sunday, August 14, to collectively do the walk with the Gumshoe Answer Man following behind and providing hints. You’ll be done in time to turn in your entry form before the event wraps at 6 pm.
Step 3: Return your entry form to Ken's, the Phinney Center or Couth Buzzard by 6 pm Sunday, August 14, and you're entered for the Gumshoe prize drawing and a chance to win one of 10 (count 'em) $100 gift cards to these local businesses:
- Phinney Market Pub & Eatery
- Red Mill Burgers
- El Chupacabra
- Greenwood Hardware
- Nutty Squirrel Gelato
- Ken's Market
- Phinney Books
- Pete's Egg Nest
- The Olive and Grape
- Top Ten Toys
What Else You Need to Know
100% of Gumshoe proceeds go to the senior center, PTA and food bank, and nobody is paid to help with the event—unless you want to call sharing the proceeds "payment" to the volunteers from the recipient organizations who do some of the Gumshoe grunt work.
While the Gumshoe is a FUNdraiser, it's also about connecting people to the neighborhood and building community. It's amazing what you discover when you walk and pay attention, and the event wouldn't happen without some pretty amazing individual and business support!
Want to know more? Email the Gumshoe Answer Man.