APRIL 28, 2014


Julie Mann

Membership Services, Panhandle PBS


Leading teams from Panhandle PBS fundraising event will clash in a live, puzzle-solving scavenger hunt in downtown Amarillo.

AMARILLO, TEXAS—On Friday, May 2, dozens of teams and hundreds of participants in Big Idea Challenge will gather atop the Happy State Bank parking garage (located at 8th & Taylor) for the final leg of a month-long, puzzle-solving extravaganza. While the previous five weeks have allowed teams several days to solve clues and decipher puzzles, this live, final event will send teams to undisclosed destinations throughout downtown Amarillo in a final frenzy of activity from 6 to 9 pm.

Since its kickoff April 1, Big Idea Challenge has combined elements of scavenger hunts and clue decoding—along with personal fundraising—as teams of six to ten people compete to solve puzzles, raise money, and accumulate points with the goal of qualifying for the live final challenge. Teams have been comprised of coworkers, colleagues, friends, and family members, including teams from Border States Electric, Ascension Academy, FirstBank Southwest, Happy State Bank, Education Credit Union, Chick-Fil-A on Georgia, Roasters Coffee & Tea Company, and more. The qualifying team that earns the most combined points from weekly puzzles, individual fundraising, and the Final Challenge will be awarded the event’s first-place “Big Brain Cup.”

Corporate sponsors of Big Idea Challenge are FirstBank Southwest, Roasters Coffee & Tea Company, and Gilliland Family Foundation.

“This is the finale of the whole thing,” says Big Idea Challenge co-chair Matt Morgan. “These teams have been taking it very seriously, gathering together every week to solve these puzzles—which have been really complex—all while raising money for local public television programming. It’s been incredibly fun.”

Jason Boyett, a member of the Big Idea Challenge planning committee and the official “Gamemaster” for the final challenge, is looking forward to the event. “We’ve been hearing a lot of chatter on Facebook and Twitter from team members as they’ve been solving these clues. Some are even boasting how easy it’s been,” Boyett says. “With this final event, we’re unleashing some truly smart, driven, competitive teams on the downtown area. But they have no idea what they’re in for.”

Panhandle PBS’s membership services coordinator, Julie Mann, praises the response to the unique fundraiser. “We envisioned it being something that skewed toward younger participants, but we’ve seen all ages having fun with this,” she says. “These teams are really into it. Our hope is that we’ve given Amarillo a fun few weeks while also connecting Panhandle PBS with a new generation of supporters.”

Sausage wraps and drinks will be served during the final challenge. Admission for participants is free. Entrance for non-competing guests is $20 at the door.

For more information about Big Idea Texas or the final challenge event, visit or at the Big Idea Texas Facebook page (

About Panhandle PBS:

Panhandle PBS provides a gathering place for intelligent, trusted community engagement to enlighten, entertain and empower the people of the Texas Panhandle and the world. Licensed to Amarillo College, the station extends the community college philosophy of improving the quality of life for all residents. Panhandle PBS broadcasts on Channel 2.1 in digital High Definition carrying PBS programming and Channel 2.2 in digital Standard Definition carrying Spanish language V-Me programming. For more information, please visit

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