It began with shovels.

The efforts will soon help fund a playground for special needs children at the all-new Island Rec Center on Hilton Head Island.

Susan Ochsner was one of a group of regular dog walkers who skirted the beaches of Sea Pines every morning when she noticed how much litter had been left behind by beachgoers. Each member of the group began collecting random detritus as they walked, until they decided to start keeping score.

“It was last year we decided to see who could get the most shovels. Then it was buckets, sunglasses, you name it,” she said. “We threw it into my beach car and that’s when we decided to really make a game out of it.”

That game challenged passersby to guess how many pieces of beach litter, from sunglasses to shovels, were stuffed inside Ochsner’s 2000 Buick Park Avenue, named Cashew’s Caravan.

At $5 a guess, the group raised $700 for Memory Matters.

The fundraiser proved so successful, they’re doing it again.

Between Sept. 16 and 30, Cashew’s Caravan will be full of beach trash and parked in the Sea Pines Resort parking lot on Greenwood Drive. At $5 a guess, anyone can guess the amount of litter there.

The winner will get a $200 gift certificate, but the real winners will be area special needs children when Gregory’s Playground is built at Island Rec.

For more information, call Rose Fotia at 843-290-0182.