Children hunt for thousands of eggs

Lindsey Jackson · Thursday, April 4, 2013
Children sought out hardboiled and plastic eggs in grassy fields last weekend. Community Bridge hosted its first annual pancake breakfast and Easter egg hunt on Friday at the fairgrounds in West Liberty, which raised $750, and the Sons of the American Legion hosted its annual hunt on Saturday morning at Kimberly Park.

Legion member Jeff Owen said the five hours it takes to get the eggs ready is worth the 10 minutes of fun watching kids hunt for eggs.

"We had about 2,000 eggs scattered out there," Owen said. "They were all picked up in less than 10 minutes."

To prepare for the Legion's egg hunt, Owen requested use of the park and park lodge from the city about three weeks prior to the event. From there, a couple of Legion members went around asking for donations from businesses and individuals.

"We do it the old fashioned way," Owen said.

The Legion purchased eggs and a group of guys gathered at Six Body Works, owned by Tom Christensen and located along Highway 6, for food, beverages and egg boiling and dying the evening before the hunt. Owen said this is a regular gathering and some people really get into it. "It's almost like everybody knows when we are going to do it," he said. "Some people live and die for it."

This year, Owen said there were about 15 to 20 people preparing 158 dozen eggs, which were boiled in a large cast iron kettle heated by a burner from a hot air balloon. The eggs were then emerged into dye and set out to dry over night.

Jim Wieneke picked up the eggs at 8 a.m. Saturday and drove them to Kimberly Park, where seven to eight sons scattered them around the grounds into three different areas for different age groups up to second grade.

Owen said kids had about 10 to 12 eggs in each of their baskets at the end.

"We make sure everyone gets candy and prizes," he said.

Prize winners of the son's egg hunt are: Alyssa Jarrard, 4; Jaylean Perez, 4; Heather Powers, 3; Grace Ortiz, 6; Marcelo Sosa-Beltran, 7; Xavier Baker, 5; Stella McCullough, 6; Alicia Lopez, 6; Magaly Cano, 7; Joseph Akers, 7; Harper Griffin, 6; Rene Meza, 4; Harlow Griffin, 4; Tytan Griffith, 6.

Mindy Heick of Community Bridge said about 150 children showed up Friday morning at 10 a.m. for their hunt. Community Bridge used plastic eggs filled with candy and divided the children into four age groups – three and under, four through six, seven through nine, and 10 and up. One golden egg was hidden among other eggs in each group. The golden eggs were discovered by Jasmine Alyenga, three and under; Gable Underbakke, four to six; Colin Cassady, seven to nine; and Ashley Tapia, 10 and up.

Heick said 300 people enjoyed the pancake breakfast, which began at 8 a.m., prior to the hunt. The $750 raised at the feed will go toward the $3,000 Community Bridge is planning to donate this spring to help fund sidewalk paths at the depot campus.
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